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Star Trails
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kili-stars.jpg
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ylw-text.gif Technical details: Canon EOS 1v Body, EF 17-35mm f2.8 lens (@17mm/f2.8), Tiffen FL-D filter, Velvia film (rated at 40ASA), 3.5 hour time-release exposure.

This shot is interesting for a variety of reasons. First, the lighting of the tents was very lucky. I hadn't intended to get them lit at all, but as people got up during the night to go to the latrine, their flashlights lit the interiors of the tents as they moved around. (Altitude causes frequent visits to the latrine, especially at night.)

Second, because the night had no moon, I was concerned there wouldn't be enough light on the ground to give the scene some context. But, as it turns out, the ground was lit entirely by starlight. That seems amazing, especially because stars are normally not bright enough to do that. However, at 16,000 feet, the air is so thin and there is no other light pollution around that the Milky Way is like a huge light band across the sky. You can sort of make it out by a cone-shaped glow in the middle of the image from the top down to the horizon.

Another other lucky factor was that the night temperature drops below feezing at that altitude. Frost or other elements could have ruined the picture simply by building up on the lens, the camera's battery dying, or by the camera simply not functioning at all. Yet, nothing went wrong.

—Fun things to note The green hues on the horizon is the cloud cover at 10,000 feet being lit by the lights from the towns below. They use mostly fluorescent lights to save energy, and as you know, those tend to glow green on film.

The reddish color just above the horizon fading to blue higher up is caused by the red dust kicked up from the ground below. Tanzania didn't have a lot of rain this season, and the last wet season was also particularly dry. As a result, the dryness caused a lot of the red dirt to fly everywhere.

Kilimanjaro is three degrees south of the equator, but the height of the mountain is such that you can see Polaris, the North star.

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IPTC Data
Country-Primary Location Name: Tanzania
Credit: Dan Heller
Object Name: kili-stars.jpg
Caption-Abstract: Technical details: Canon EOS 1v Body, EF 17-35mm f2.8 lens (@17mm/f2.8), Tiffen FL-D filter, Velvia film (rated at 40ASA), 3.5 hour time-release exposure.

This shot is interesting for a variety of reasons. First, the lighting of the tents was very lucky. I hadn't intended to get them lit at all, but as people got up during the night to go to the latrine, their flashlights lit the interiors of the tents as they moved around. (Altitude causes frequent visits to the latrine, especially at night.)

Second, because the night had no moon, I was concerned there wouldn't be enough light on the ground to give the scene some context. But, as it turns out, the ground was lit _entirely_ by starlight. That seems amazing, especially because stars are normally not bright enough to do that. However, at 16,000 feet, the air is so thin and there is no other light pollution around that the Milky Way is like a huge light band across the sky. You can sort of make it out by a cone-shaped glow in the middle of the image from the top down to the horizon.

Another other lucky factor was that the night temperature drops below feezing at that altitude. Frost or other elements could have ruined the picture simply by building up on the lens, the camera's battery dying, or by the camera simply not functioning at all. Yet, nothing went wrong.

-- Fun things to note The green hues on the horizon is the cloud cover at 10,000 feet being lit by the lights from the towns below. They use mostly fluorescent lights to save energy, and as you know, those tend to glow green on film.

The reddish color just above the horizon fading to blue higher up is caused by the red dust kicked up from the ground below. Tanzania didn't have a lot of rain this season, and the last wet season was also particularly dry. As a result, the dryness caused a lot of the red dirt to fly everywhere.

Kilimanjaro is three degrees south of the equator, but the height of the mountain is such that you can see Polaris, the North star.

By-line: Dan Heller
City: Kilimanjaro
Copyright Notice: Photo (c) www.danheller.com
Keywords: stars, kilimanjaro, tanzania, star trails, mountain, nite, africa
Location: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
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