A few days from the winter solstice, at the arctic circle, the moon sets at noon. The sun, hugging the opposite horizon is also about to set, casting its red light on different generations of pine trees.
At the top of the tallest volcanic mountains on Hawaii are the world’s premier telescopes. They are here because the air is calm and dry, high above the clouds and turbulence of lower elevations. The tradeoff is cold and snow, a small price to pay for the chance to explore the secrets of the universe.
I have used this blog as a vehicle to “pre-publish” the pages for what I call “Coffee Table Nightscapes”. I’ve been reviewing the night sky pictures and astrophotos that I have taken over the last few decades, selecting my favorites, annotating them, and preparing them to be published as a photo book. They begin with pictures of comet Hale-Bopp in 1997, include many from my Nightscape Odyssey taken in 2001, and I had worked my way up through the 2004 pictures from Yosemite.
I will now pick up from there by posting pictures of Monument Valley during a trip to Arizona in 2005. The full story of obtaining these photos has already been presented in earlier blog entries. Here is a portrait of the distinctive landscape at sunset, one I have included among the banner images on this site.