Fitz Roy at Night, Argentina. Starry sky of Los Glaciares National Park in Patagonia, home to the 3400-meter high Fitz Roy, a truly spectacular mountain on the border with Chile. Venus is the brightest point, about to set behind the mountains. The Magellanic Clouds are visible on the left. print available
Devils Postpile at Dusk, California. A starry spring night begins in Sierra Nevada. This national monument in Sierra Nevada takes its name from a cliff of cooled lava that formed into striking hexagonal columns some 100,000 years ago. Devils Postpile unusual 60-foot (20 m) formations are some of the finest examples of columnar basalt in the world. print available
Westfjords Winter Night, Iceland. Bright aurora breaks in rays and arcs above a town and a remote fjord at 66 degrees north. print available
Lowest in America, California. Desert landscape under moonlight with a salt crust formed honeycomb shapes known as crack polygon, form from thermal contraction. Standing on the Badwater area in Death Valley National Park, this is the lowest point in the entire North America, with an elevation of 282 ft below sea level (-86 meters). Sirius is on the left. It’s the brightest star in the Earth night sky. Death Valley is one of the driest places on the planet and a vast Dark Sky Park, where natural night is protected from light pollution. print available
Grand Canyon in Moonlight, Arizona. Moonlight, so peaceful. Imaging at night I enjoyed many of the world’s wonders in this serene light. Here, the longest canyon on Earth (277 mi, 446 km) appears at midnight under last quarter moon. The Grand Canyon is carved by the Colorado River in the past several million years. Jupiter is the brightest point in the sky. Next to Jupiter are stars of Taurus, the Bull, and the Pleiades star cluster (the Seven Sisters), and below them is constellation Orion. print available
Desert Solitaire, Utah. Standing under a giant natural arch in moonlight in Arches National Park, where desert becomes a rock wonderland, where the stars touch the Earth. This is a tribute to Edward Abbey, the author of iconic autobiography book Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness (1968), of his experiences as a park ranger here. He became a voice for environmental issues and public land. print available
Acadia Night, Maine. The ocean was very calm. It was well past midnight. The absolute silence was breaking with just the gentle waves washing the sand next to my feet, as thousands of stars were sparkling above me, far from the artificial glow of large cities. A row of bright winter stars were on the west, from Sirius to constellations Orion and Taurus. Being a New England resident the shores of Acadia National Park is one of my most favorite places to explore. It is a popular summer destination to hikers and stargazers but on this December night there was no one else. On assignment for National Geographic I was trying to complete the 360-degree panorama quickly, racing with the fast coming clouds on the right, lit by the nearby town Bar Harbor. print available
Yosemite at Night | The night sky above towering giant Sequoia trees, Some of the largest and tallest trees on Earth, reaching 70-80 meters tall (210-240 ft) and up to 2700 years old. Photographed in an autumn night of Yosemite National Park, California. Fine Art print
Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii. At 4200m (13800ft) this is the highest point in the Pacific Ocean. The twin Keck telescopes beam lasers to the atmosphere for adaptive optics operation. On the other side is the Japanese Subaru telescope. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, this is one of the world’s premier astronomical research facilities. Hawaii’s isolation in the mid-Pacific Ocean and the high elevation of the summit makes it one of the best locations on Earth for astronomical observations. The Moon, next to Orion and Taurus, appears above the rising morning twilight. print available
Dolomites in Morning Twilight, Italy. A starry summer night ends in the Alps. print available
Tuscany Night, Italy. Rising stars of Orion and Taurus above Cypress trees and an iconic chapel with an old well. print available
Glacier, Iceland. A magnificent night in the far north in early March. This spectacular glacier in southeast Iceland became alive at dark with aurora borealis shining bursting above it. The frozen lagoon is on the foot of 2110-meter high ice-covered Oraefajokull volcano, within the Vatnajokull National Park. Even to me who travels twice a year to near Arctic for aurora phototours, this was a stunning night when aurora activity reached storm level. Fine Art print
Altiplano Moonlit Midnight, Chile. It was a magical freezing night of April, camping with German film crew for the Borderless Sky documentary, at 4500 meters high of Altiplano, near Bolivia border. The southern Milky Way and the core of the galaxy was visible above a partly frozen water, where various types of lama spend the day. The last quarter moon shines on the landscape. print available
Mars On Earth, Chile. The Martian landscape of Atacama Desert. The air transparency and lack of dust and air pollution in this high altitude dry environment make it possible to clearly see the Milky Way even when the moon is in the sky (40% moon phase on this occasion). Looking to the ground you almost feel like being on the Red Planet but under the Earth sky. Fine Art print
Mountain Stargazing | The Milky Way band rises as an arc across the sky as this June night begin on High Sierras, California. A small town has lit up a part of the valley, a waterfall is near the middle and a large ancient bristlecone pine is standing next to you, near the edge of the cliff. Fine Art print
Vanished Night Sky, UAE | Night over the city of Dubai, is not so starry. In fact, the Moon is the only celestial beacon to come close to competing with city lights in this nightscape, a situation all too familiar to urban skygazers due to light pollution. The futuristic looking scene is dominated by the 800 meter tall Khalifa Tower, presently the tallest free standing structure on planet Earth. Fine Art print
Milky Way from 5000 Meters High | Look above to see the the galactic core at zenith in the morning twilight from altitude of over 5,000 meters on Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes; the site for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) with total of 66 giant radio dishes, each 12 or 7 meters in diameter. ALMA is the cutting-edge in exploration of the universe in radio wavelength, known as the world’s largest ground-based astronomy project now involving many countries. Also in the view is the dazzling planet Venus through the zodiacal light above the dishes. Fine Art print
A Night Begins at an Astronomer’s Paradise, Chile. The evening twilight fades into a starry night in the arid Atacama Desert. I was on imaging assignment in Cerro Paranal Observatory, a prime site of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The Very Large Telescope (VLT) was visible in the distance above Paranal peak. Many of the world’s observatories are also prime sites for stargazing and astrotourism thanks to the natural dark sky being preserved, the view which is lost to most people on the planet due to our own lights. print available
The Great Sand Dunes at Night | Under an ocean of stars inside the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. This high elevation desert, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, has the tallest sand dunes in North America. Fine Art print
A Summer Night of Sierras | It’s easy to become acquainted with the beauty, peace, and silence of a natural night. Although it reminds many of dark colorless eerie environment, night reveals a universe less appreciated due to light pollution and city life. Photographed in Sierra Nevada, California. Fine Art print
Cactus Paradise | On this night near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, I was on a documentary filming project about the pristine night sky of Chile. After the moonrise at midnight the landscape transformed from a dark hidden world to a desert oasis of cactus forest and far volcanoes on the horizon. The Milky Way was still visible high in the sky, before vanished by the rising moon. Fine Art print
Rockies Winterscape, Colorado. It was a late November night, under crystal clear sky in moonlight, standing on a frozen lake and facing the iconic Maroon Bells peaks of Rocky Mountains. Fine Art print
Guatemala Volcanic Night |Night of a constantly erupting volcano, Pacaya, the most active in the region. Turn left to see a group of 3 volcanoes in the distance. The one erupting there is Fuego or Fire Volcano. Further left you see storm clouds brightened by lightning, a typical view in the tropical area. Fine Art print
Tikal, Guatemala. Night in this tropical jungle is surreal. The impressive Maya temple from AD 700 stands 57 meters (187 ft) high, making it the second tallest structure in this World Heritage Site, one of the largest Maya civilization sites. At its peak it was home to at least 60,000 people. print available
Outback Australia | The Milky Way is setting above Eucalyptus trees somewhere far from city lights in New South Wales. The view shows the central bulge of the galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds and light of nearby small towns on the horizon. print available
Arches Dark Night| Arches National Park of Utah is one of the designated International Dark Sky Places where the natural night environment is preserved against light pollution. The autumn Milky Way is visible above the giant Double Arch, the tallest (112 ft/34 m) arch in the park. Fine Art print
Las Vegas & Los Angeles from Death Valley|Its striking how far the light dome of the large cities can be visible, penetrating to the natural night environment. Here from 5000ft high mountain-top in Death Valley, one of the world’s largest designated International Dark Sky Parks, under star-filled sky the light of Las Vegas, 90 miles away, is boldly visible and and even Los Angeles, 170 miles away, is still visible on horizon. Also visible over the west is the cone-shaped diffuse glow of Zodiacal Light, the sunlight reflecting from asteroid dust in the Solar System plane, visible only in dark skies after dusk or before dawn. Fine Art print
Viking Village | I felt an incredible connection to the history and culture of this far north land when the dazzling, dancing rays of aurora borealis appeared in a Viking village. This is where some of the earliest Nordic settlers lived in Iceland a thousand years ago. They were unaware that a nearby snow-capped mountain was (and remains) an active volcano. In 1104 a massive eruption ended life in the farming village. The replica turf houses were constructed near the original site, based on the archeological findings. Photographed during my annual September aurora phototour. Fine Art print
New England Rocky Shore | An autumn night of Halibut State Park in Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Light of Boston, 40 miles south, appears from behind the rocky hill. Above it are constellations Orion, Taurus, and Canis Major. Fine Art print
Cosmic Reflections | This lake at this very clam night reflecting the galaxy, looked a like a portal to the entire universe. One of the most enchanting views at night is when stars and the Milky Way, in an ideal dark sky, reflect on calm waters. Try it next time you travel somewhere far from the light pollution. The water surface diffuses the image and reveal more star colors. This is a summer night from a lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains, California. The dazzling orange star in the sky is planet Mars at its closest to the Earth, and brightest.
Desert Winter Night | Stunningly dark starry sky from a remote corner of Death Valley National Park in California. A playa, a dry lakebed, appears on the ground and light of Los Angeles is visible on the far horizon. Fine Art print
Ancient Rock Art | Prehistoric petroglyph in Teimareh, central Iran. With about 30,000 identified images, it is one of the world’s most populated rock art sites, still largely unexplored. I photographed this unique panel of over 150 pictures, left from various eras, on a winter night a few years ago. There are signs of the first horse riding in the Middle East (~ 6000 years ago). Others belong to late Paleolithic (~ 12000 years old). But few of them might be even surprisingly older, up to 20,000 years. They show animals that became extinct in this region by the ice age, possibly a Smilodon (saber-toothed tiger) and a large armadillos known as Glyptodon.
Kings Canyon at Night | An autumn night of Kings Canyon National Park in California with a massive boulder and a forest of ancient giant Sequoia trees. Fine Art print
Crystal Clear | The Galaxy and green airglow in ideally dark sky above a Lake in the Sierras at 9000 ft. In a clear dark sky like this it’s so refreshing to watch the summer Milky Way. This is one of the magical spots I do my annual summer photography workshop (California Nightscapes) in August.
Teide National Park in Moonlight |Mount Teide volcano in Tenerife, Canary Islands, is a 500,000 years old volcano and 3718 m high which makes it the highest peak in Spain. It is about 7500 meters above the floor of the Atlantic Ocean which makes Teide the highest point on this Ocean. The landscape of the Teide National Park with the iconic rock formation is illuminated by the moon near midnight.
Meteora | This World Heritage Site in Greece is otherworldly in day or night. I walked under stars and these giant sandstone rock pillars the entire night. Meteora is a complex of unusual monasteries built on top and inside the rocks, some a thousand years old. Fine Art print
Hortobagy Cultural Heritage | The summer Milky Way above the World Heritage Site of Hortobágy National Park in Eastern Hungary. The area is rich in culture and history famous for its traditional T-shaped sweep wells which dot the landscape. The site is also designated as a Starry Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association after the local efforts to protect the natural beauty of night sky by controlling the light pollution in this area. The Hortobagy is the largest natural grassland in Europe and provides habitat for many kinds of birds and other wildlife.
A Night Begins on Chajnantor Plateau | Storm clouds rapidly disappear at the end of twilight with the last glow of the light still shining on the horizon from altitude of over 5,000 meters on Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes; the site for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) with total of 66 giant radio dishes, each 12 or 7 meters in diameter. ALMA is the cutting-edge in exploration of the universe in radio wavelength, known as the world’s largest ground-based astronomy project now involving many countries. Look for the constellations Orion and Taurus above the dishes. Fine Art print
Green Aurora in a Dark Night of Northern Iceland | A beautiful starry night of northern Iceland with an ordinary aurora activity, green bands horizon to horizon, during one of my aurora phototours. Fine Art print
The Land of Waterfalls | Öxarárfoss is one of most visited out of about 10,000 named waterfalls in Iceland. Located in Þingvellir National Park near the capital.
Paranal Dark Sky | The Milky Way rising above the astronomers residency, built under the surface, in the barren Atacama Desert of Chile, like a human base on another planet. Cerro Paranal is home to the Very Large Telescope (VLT); an array of optical telescopes operated by ESO, the European Southern Observatory. The galactic core is rising above the east and our neighboring satellite galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are visible above the south. Fine Art print
Desert Road | Atacama Desert in Chile has some of the clearest skies for both hobby stargazers and astronomers. This view of the southern sky and the Milky Way is taken on the moments of moonset. Fine Art print
Skywalker | The Milky Way at moonset with a man standing on a rock in Atacama Desert pf Chile. Strong red airglow (natural emission from the Earth upper atmosphere) appears on the left side and the Magellanic Clouds are right above the stargazer. Fine Art print
Observatory | The historic 60 inch telescope on Mount Wilson Observatory near Los Angeles. Its “First light” was 1908 December 8 when it was the world’s largest operational telescope. It became one of the most productive telescopes in history. Today it is available to enthusiasts for observations and events as one of the world’s largest telescopes devoted to general public.
Time Travel to 1880: In dark a starry night of Death Valley National Park, I’m standing next to these 1880s mining wagons in the Harmony Borax Works. Light of Las Vegas, about 90 miles away, is visible from behind the hills.
Mono Lake | The moon rises in this summer midnight of Mono Lake, California. I’m surrounded by these amazing tufa formations, limestone formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals in water. Mono Lake has no outlet and trapped salt made the lake very alkaline and salty. But the lake has an unusually productive ecosystem.
Tree of Life | Standing under this giant oak in a clear winter night of Germany I could feel how we are connected. There are almost 8 billion of us, each on a random branch but with a unified root, connected to the entire life on this planet. The Tree of Life concept is found in many cultures.
Ludwig Castle | From this perspective at 3am standing next to the giant walls of Neuschwanstein castle, the scene was surreal against the starry sky. Out of about 20,000 remaining castles in Germany, this one in the Bavarian Alps is an iconic landmark. The palace of Neuschwanstein (New Swan Stone) was built in the 19th-century, home to the eccentric king Ludwig II who was in love with artistic and architectural projects and spent all his royal revenues on these unusual castles. This extreme passion was used against him to declare him insane. He died young mysteriously at 40.
Zabriskie Point | The setting moon shines the last rays on erosion formation in the desert composed of sediments which dried up 5 million years ago, located in Death Valley National Park.
Veresk | The light on the railway Veresk bridge in the Alborz Mountains of Iran was boldly shining to the dark valley underneath where I was standing. The 110-meter tall bridge was built before World War II by Austrians for the railway between Tehran and the Caspian Sea.
Storm of Colors, Iceland. This was the strongest most colorful aurora I have ever photographed pole to pole when the northern lights dressed in pastels. Make sure to look overhead too where a spectacular aurora crown is formed at zenith. On 2015 March 17/18 a major solar eruption arrived to our planet and created aurora storm level of Kp 9. The northern lights started in twilight, illuminating the landscape in purple and green, casting shadows, and dominating the entire sky. print available