This panoramic view of the southern sky spans from the Magellanic Clouds (our neighboring satellite galaxies) on the left to the arc of the Milky Way in the middle, and the zodiacal light on the right. Looks like a scene of a science-fiction movie, the extraterrestrial visitor, is in fact an element of a unique art exhibition in Western Australia. Lake Ballard is home to Antony Gormley’s “Inside Australia” art project in which 50 metal statues stretch across the vast landscape. The location is a superb place to observe and photograph the night sky. In July 2012, TWAN photographer John Goldsmith captured a remarkable 360 by 180 degree view featuring the central bulge of our galaxy standing over the “Pyramid Hill”, the red glow of the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis), along the southern horizon and a statue illuminated with red light. The appearance of Aurora from Lake Ballard (at -29 degrees latitude) is a fairly rare sight. The southern lights are caused by highly charged particles emitted from the sun, funneled into the magnetic north and south poles of our planet. Click on the second photo to see a closer view of the statue under stars.



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