Before the morning twilight the dazzling planet Venus rises with the constellation Gemini above the tomb of Cyrus in Pasargadae; a 2500-year old World Heritage Site in southern Iran. Note the prominent figure of the constellation on the upper left of the tomb. The bright star at the upper edge of image is Mars and the faint glow along Gemini is the zodiacal light (sunlight reflection from dust particles in the Solar System plane). Pasargadae was the first capital of the Achaemenid Empire, the capital of Cyrus the Great (600-530 BC) and also his last resting place. At the height of its power, the Achaemenid Empire encompassed spanned three continents, as far west as Libya to nearly all Middle East, and to Central Asia. Cyrus left an everlasting legacy on leadership as he respected the local people and their freedom, and the customs and religions of every lands he conquered. This is a prominent part in the history of liberty and human rights.



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