Image: Astronomy Picture of the Day: Himalayan Skyscape
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Astronomy Picture of the Day - 2009 December 5
Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)
Explanation: Capella, alpha star of the constellation Auriga, rises over Mt. Everest in this panoramic view of the top of the world at night. The scene was recorded in late November near Namche Bazar, Nepal, gateway to the Himalayan mountain range. Moonlight illuminates the famous peaks of Everest (8840 meters) and Lhotse (8516 meters) at the far left, and a stupa (a Buddhist religious monument) in the foreground, along the main trail to the Everest Base Camp. The light in the valley is from the Tengboche Monastery, also along the trail at about 4000 meters. From left to right above the moonlit peaks, the stars of Auriga give way to bright giant star Aldebaran eye of the Taurus the Bull, the Pleiades star cluster, alpha Ceti, and finally alpha Phoenicis of the Phoenix. Peaks and stars can be identified by placing your cursor over the image.