Photographer's Note

I took this photo last January, in a holiday travel to Merida state, Venezuela

This was one of my first attempts to do night photography, the temperature there was about 0 centigrades, -a very unusual temperature here, only found in this heights of the Andean chain mountains- and there were also strong wings, which made really hard for me to stay out there the seconds needed to take the shot.

Taken with tripod, about 8 pm.
Shutter speed: 10 seconds.
Some crop, noise reduced and resized for TE.

Llano del Hato National Astronomical Observatory
(Observatorio Nacional de Llano del Hato) is an observatory in Venezuela, run by the Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomia (CIDA). It is 3600 metres above sea level, -which makes it one of the highest observatories in the world-, and comprises four telescopes, each in their own cupola: a Schmidt camera (the 4th. greatest of the world), a reflecting telescope , a great refractor, and a double astrograph.

It is the main observatory in Venezuela. It is situated above the village of Llano del Hato close to Apartaderos in the Venezuelan Andes, about 50 kilometres north-east of Merida City, Merida State.

This facility is the closest major observatory to the equator. It has access to large parts of both the northern and southern skies. It benefits from very dark skies and its altitude of 3,600 metres (12,000 feet) above sea level means atmospheric turbulence is greatly reduced.

The facility has four large optical telescopes, a Zeiss refractor, a large Zeiss reflector and, for dedicated photographic applications, an Askania astrograph and an Askania Schmidt camera. These instruments were acquired by the Venezuelan government 1954 and installed at Llano del Hato in the early 1970s.

There is also a museum and exhibition centre where visitors can learn about the work of the observatory and CIDA as well as astronomy in general.

Observatorio Nacional de Llano del Hato

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Additional Photos by Jose Miguel Cisneros (JoseMiguel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 253 W: 3 N: 249] (860)
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