Star trails streak over the MAGIC I telescope at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma, Canary Islands, in this stunning new image by an amateur astronomer.
Night sky photographer Miguel Claro submitted this magnificent photo of the glowing trails, which can also be seen reflected off the massive foreground structure of the MAGIC I telescope, which comprises 270 individual mirror panels that can be independently focused using an active mirror control system equipped with lasers. The telescope's name is short for Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov Telescopes.
The image is the result of 53 shots with a Canon 60Da camera (ISO 2500; 24mm at f/2; Exp. 15 seconds). It was sent to SPACE.com on Jan. 7. [See more amazing night sky photos by stargazers for January 2014]
Star trails in a night sky image can be created with long exposure times. This technique causes the stars to appear as if they are trailing in arcs similar to the path they trace in the night sky. Star trail images such as this one show how Earth’s rotation can influence the motion.
To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by SPACE.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.