It’s almost as if the earth is rotating right before your eyes in this picture of the North Celestial Pole. And that’s not entirely incorrect — the trail of stars captured in a series of long exposures by photographer Jerónimo Losada reflect the way the Blue Marble moves every day.
Shot earlier this month, the picture is NASA’s image of the day today. Here’s a little explanation of what you’re looking at:
The well-composed image was recorded over a period of nearly 2 hours as a series of 30 second long, consecutive exposures on the night of October 5. The exposures were made with a digital camera fixed to a tripod near Almaden de la Plata, province of Seville, in southern Spain, planet Earth. Of course, the graceful star trails reflect the Earth’s daily rotation around its axis. By extension, the axis of rotation leads to the center of the concentric arcs in the night sky. Convenient for northern hemisphere night sky photographers and celestial navigators alike, the bright star Polaris is very close to the North Celestial Pole and so makes the short bright trail in the central gap between the leafy branches.
It almost looks like you could leap off the top branch and land somewhere in space. Sign me up. [NASA]
Picture: Jerónimo Losada via NASA