The night sky over the Libyan desert. Jupiter is the brightest spot in the sky
“If you live in a city it is easy to forget there is a stunning star-scape above your head, which is hidden by light pollution.
But out in the Libyan desert, there is little to obscure your view.
Amateur photographer and civil engineer Tunc Tezel captured the glorious night sky above Ras Lanuf camp in Libya.
The 33-year-old from Turkey is overseeing a coastal railway construction between Sirt and Benghazi and was keen to take advantage of his isolated location.
Although a glowing sky is often cloud reflecting sun or moonlight, the flight running diagonally up to the right is created by the combined light from billions of stars that make up our local Milky Way Galaxy.
Mr Tezel took the image on December 7 an hour after sunset and managed to unveil zodiacal light as well. This is the sunlight reflected off tiny dust particles ejected by comets that orbit our Solar System.
He told the Mail Online: ‘I took six pictures as a 3×2 panorama, which I later constructed with image processing software to get the final view.
‘The brightest celestial object below centre is the Moon. Mercury is also visible to the lower left of the Moon and just above the horizon.
‘After the sky got dark enough, the Milky Way became visible, rising to the upper right from the southwest horizon. Thanks to the clear and transparent skies that evening, Zodiacal Light was also easily seen rising from to the upper left from the southwestern horizon.’
Mr Tezel, who has been an amateur astronomer since 1992 said his location on the northern tip of Africa was the ideal spot for capturing the night sky’s beauty.
‘From my southern location of Libya (30 degrees North), the Milky Way and Zodiacal Light stood nicely symmetrical,’ he said.
‘From farther north, Milky way would stand more upright as Zodiacal Light would be nearly invisible as it would make a very shallow angle with the horizon.’
Mr Tezel is part of an organisation called The World At Night or TWAN. The group’s main aim of TWAN is to produce and present a collection of stunning photographs and time-lapse videos of the world’s landmarks against the celestial attractions.”
Another beautiful evening captured on camera. Such a sight is not a dream nor impossible to achieve. In fact, quite the contrary. How? Easy. We must change how we fundamentally approach lighting. We must abandon the notion, ‘more light deters more criminals.’ Simply put, it’s ineffective. Increased lighting actually encourages deviants, miscreants and criminals to commit vandalism, robbery or public disturbances. A solution to such a problem, would be to utilize preexisting motion sensor technology. If darkness surrounds an area and a light immediately turns on, the eye can identify the said area almost instantaneously, rather than being potentially blinded in over illuminated areas. Following the archaic notion of ‘more is better,’ we must utilize and follow proper light fixture shielding to eliminate unnecessary light sources. Properly shielded light fixtures directs the light where it is needed most, downward – effectively eliminating light pollution 100%. By eliminating light pollution, we retroactively improve the health of all creatures possessing circadian rhythms, rest easier and reclaim our night skies.
Let there be night!