Daniele Gasparri (@gasparridaniele
) with the last post for Universetoday, directly from the Atacama desert, Chile.
In the southern part of the desert, in the region of Atacama, there are pristine and stunning places to explore. In this pictures you see the Salar de Maricunga, a big salty lake with uncontaminated water, located at 3750 meters and surrounded by 6000 meters tall mountains.
Here I observed the darkest sky of the world, with a surface magnitude at the zenit of 22.09 and an exceptional transparency.
Unfortunately, this magic place, home of a unique ecosystem, will disappear soon. The mining industry got the authorisation to exploit the reserves of lithium contained in the salt. They will drain the water and extract all the salt that formed this lagoon in millions of years, destroying not only the night sky but also every life-form around.
Before it will disappear, I wanted to show you the beauty of this place.
This image is the average of 10 single shots taken with a Sony A7s camera, 12 mm f2.8 fisheye lens at 8000 ISO. I Aligned the images three times: one for the stars, the second for the background, and the third for the reflection, then merged together to give the final portrait.
Thank you Universetoday for the opportunity. I hope to see you soon.
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