BABAK TAFRESHI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BABAK TAFRESHI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Star trails. Time-exposure image of stars passing over a group of amateur astronomers during a Messier marathon observing competition in Iran's central desert. The brightest trails are made by the Moon and the planets Venus and Mercury (near the horizon). During a Messier marathon the astronomers attempt to view all 110 Messier objects, which were catalogued by the 18th century French astronomer Charles Messier, in one night.
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