Photo by @babaktafreshi, The World at Night project
Galaxies and the Roof of Africa. Kilimanjaro is an exciting name, not only because of being the highest mountain in Africa (5895m), also due to its exposure to pop culture. From Hemingway's novel Under Kilimanjaro to adventure stories and films inspired by this massive dormant volcano. But under a starry night it is even more mysterious. The mountain is in Tanzania but here I was in southern Kenya near the border. This 30-second exposure was captured while camping near Amboseli National Park known for large elephant herds wondering in the Savannah against the snow-capped mountain, but lions and other big cats live here too. To find an open view to the mountain I was shooting well outside of the camp. It was difficult to recognize animal sounds in this windy night and I was careful with any approaching noise. This mix of unrivaled adventurous joy under stars and fearful adrenaline is what makes night environment so attractive to me.
Kilimanjaro's smaller peak, Mawenzi, is on the left. Framed between the fast moving "Earthly" clouds are the Magellanic Clouds. These gems of the southern sky are easily visible to unaided eyes in a dark sky. They are two of the Milky Way's satellite dwarf galaxies, 160,000 & 200,000 light years away. That means the light from the Small Magellanic Cloud (on the mountain’s shoulder) takes us back in time to the Middle Paleolithic era, when the first modern form of humans (anatomically) evolved in Africa, not too far from Kilimanjaro! If you are a fan of sky in motion videos you might enjoy the Kilimanjaro at night clip on vimeo.com/btafreshi/kiliman
See a timelapse of this scene @babaktafreshi and follow me for more of our planet’s night wonders.
@natgeocreative @natgeo #amboseli #kenya #tanzania #africa #kilimanjaro #mountains #motherearth #nightsky #magellanicclouds #astronomy #stargazing #astrophotography #nightphotography #longexposure