Stars of the Forbidden City
Long exposure image of moon and stars trailing down to the western horizon. Click the second photo to see a short single exposure from this sequence. From the photographer: “Beijing can be amazing without haze. On this transparent night at Jiaolou tower, Forbidden city, the Moon was in conjunction with Mars (below it). Venus is in the middle and Fomalhaut trails through the Jiaolou tower. More interesting is the color of lunar trail that shows the wonderful color change at moonset.
The forbidden city, a world heritage site today was served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years.
The (Purple) Forbidden City is a name with significance on ancient Chinese astronomy. Purple refers to the North Star which in ancient China was called the Ziwei Star, and in traditional Chinese astrology was the heavenly abode of the Celestial Emperor. The surrounding celestial region, the Purple Forbidden Enclosure was the realm of the Celestial Emperor and his family. Even the inside structure of forbidden city was built based on the Purple Forbidden Enclosure in the night sky. But Jiaolou tower make some difference, it was regarded as the guard of forbidden city. It was named by the stars of Horn (Spica), which is the first star of Azure Dragon of the East.” © Jeff Dai