There are not many bright stars in the constellations of spring nights (in the northern hemisphere). In fact two of the brightest points in this view are planets Mars and Saturn located in Leo and Virgo, the iconic spring constellations along the ecliptic. Click on the constellation icon above the image to see the realize all the constellations and brighter stars in this view. Note that the largest constellation of all, Hydra (the Water Snake), dominates the southern horizon. It’s about 90 degrees long but with only one bright star (Alphard) its often missed by sky watchers. The image is made on the night of Vernal Equinox, the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. But the foreground has yet to show any signs of spring, as it is still covered with snow after a long winter intense snowstorms. The panorama was imaged at an elevation of more than 1000 meters near Keles, 70 km south of Bursa, Turkey. To see how the sky looked from the same spot 6 months earlier, click here. Tunc Tezel



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