Reach for the Sky
In a clear mid-summer night, as the constellation Cygnus reaches the zenith, TWAN photographer walks through some of the largest trees of the planet in Sequoia National Park of California. The area is most famous for its Giant Sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, one of the largest trees on Earth. Sequoias grow to an average height of 50-85 m and 6-8 m in diameter. Record trees have been measured to be about 95 m (311 ft) in height and 17 m (57 ft) in diameter. The oldest known Giant Sequoia is 3500 years old and many of the largest are over 2000 years old. The famous North America Nebula in Cygnus, visible as a red patch toward the top of the illuminated sequoia, is about 2200 light years away. The light we are seeing from it today belongs to the time when some of these giant trees starts to grow.