First inhabitants of Easter Island called it “Te Pito o Te Henua,” or “The Navel of the World.” Perhaps this is a fitting title for such a remote and difficult to access location of our planet. This title makes even more sense after nightfall. From here, at 27 degrees south, it is possible to view the center of the Milky Way directly overhead. When we were taking photographs at Ahu Akivi, both the center of the Milky Way and the ecliptic (the plane of the Solar System) were climbing towards overhead. And thanks to the parting clouds, I was able catch both of them intersecting high in the sky, with the moais watching. Ecliptic is marked by the faint band of Zodiacal light, the sunlight scattered by the dust along the plane of the Solar System. It is always interesting to see how steeply our Solar System is inclined with respect to our Milky Way, something we do not generally realize.



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