Night of Maya Civilization
Constellation Orion and Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, appear through the passing clouds in this moonlit night of Guatemala. Pictured in the foreground is ancient temple in Tikal World Heritage Site; one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. Tikal was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. Though architecture at the site dates back as far as the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, about 200 to 900 AD. During this time, the city dominated much of the Maya region. The monument in this photo is known as Temple V. It stands 57 meters high.