Venus and Winter Stars
In this clear evening sky of March, right after dusk, a mountain road covered in snow leads us to the west where the winter stars of Canis Major, Orion, and Taurus set next to the dazzling Venus and the Zodiacal Light. The cone-shaped glow is sunlight reflection from asteroid dust in the Solar System plane, only visible in naturally dark skies. Use of a diffuser (fog) filter on the lens has exaggerated the brightness of Venus and brighter stars by scattering the light but made the constellation easily recognizable. The photographer was at 4000 meters elevation in Mount Gongga region of China, the easternmost 7,000 meters (23,000 ft) peak in the world and the third highest peak outside the Himalaya.