Cosmic flames over the Atacama Desert

Cosmic flames over the Atacama Desert

Where do the red flames over the horizon come from? Well, let me explain it from beginning. While traveling on 18 November 2017 north to the ESO Paranal Observatory, where was planned reportage on 10th anniversary od Czech membership in ESO, I decided to sleepover far from the civilisation – just to feel the magical wasteland of the Chilean Atacama Desert. I found a beautiful spot about 30 kolometers (18 miles) east from Chañaral city and just let the night come.

Cosmic flames over the Atacama Desert – annotated

And this is what the night brought. After the dusk sky became overwhelmingly dark and all the cosmic wonders appeared. And what exaxtly was in the sky except the bright stars? Located in the Orion and Vela constellation, which seem like flames over the desert, large emission nebulae showed up (of course, not to naked eyes, just to sensitive camera’s sensor). Also very prominent Gegenschein lies just above the Pleiades star cluster. For more check out the annotated version of the image.

Used Canon 6D Baader IR modified, Takumar 50mm/f1.8, ISO 6400, 29x50s single images panorama from tripod and Vixen Polarie mount. For the foreground, the startracking was turned off.