A Christmas Tree Adorned with Stars
From the photographer: “This could be a Christmas tree from Alentejo adorned with stars… The luminous and colorful balls that sprinkle with magical sky of Dark Sky Alqueva in Portugal. In the center of this frame, imaged from Reguengos de Monsaraz, the silhouetted branches embrace the most beautiful and well-known winter constellation, Orion. Just below them, the bright and shimmering star Sirius reminds us of the star of Bethlehem. A deep sky object is clearly visible too, near the center. Move the slider on the image to identify the Orion Nebula (M42), also visible to naked eye in a dark night. Comparing the two images shows how a long-exposure telescopic image with small field of view of about 2.25ºx 1.37º resolves the beautiful dusty heart of Orion Nebula.