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Sirius, the Dog Star, Reigns Supreme in Dazzling Photo

Sirius Over the Leeburg Tumulus
The brightest star in Earth's night sky, Sirius, hovers over a burial mound, called the Leeburg tumulus, in a new image by project nightflight. (Image credit: <a href="">project nightflight</a>)

The bright star Sirius presides over an ancient burial mound in a dazzling new photo by project nightflight, taken at the Grossmugl Star Walk in Austria.

Project nightflight is an initiative that promotes interest in and conservation of the night sky, led by astrophotographers Karoline Mrazek and Erwin Matys. The group captured this view of Sirius, the brightest star in Earth's night sky, about a half hour's drive from Vienna. The project's work is online at

"This image, shot on January 22, 2016, shows Sirius rising above the Leeberg tumulus, a 2500 years old ancient burial mound at the endpoint of the Grossmugl Star Walk," project nightflight wrote in an email to [Gallery: Amazing Skywatcher Photos from Around the World]

The Grossmugl Star Walk, set up by project nightflight, is self-guided tour that's nearly 1 mile long (1.5 kilometers). Visitors learn how to spot different astronomical features over the course of a 90-minute walk. The burial mound acts as the tour's finale, and is featured in this new image, called "Frozen Farmland."

"The image was shot one day before full moon on a very cold and crisp winter's night," the photographers wrote. "The near full moon illuminated the frozen farmland surrounding the tumulus and gave the sky a distinct bluish hue."

Editor's note: If you capture an amazing photo of the night sky and you'd like to share it with us and our partners for a story or image gallery, send images and comments in to managing editor Tariq Malik at

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Sarah Lewin started writing for in June of 2015 as a Staff Writer and became Associate Editor in 2019 . Her work has been featured by Scientific American, IEEE Spectrum, Quanta Magazine, Wired, The Scientist, Science Friday and WGBH's Inside NOVA. Sarah has an MA from NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program and an AB in mathematics from Brown University. When not writing, reading or thinking about space, Sarah enjoys musical theatre and mathematical papercraft. She is currently Assistant News Editor at Scientific American. You can follow her on Twitter @SarahExplains.