Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Setting Sun … (Photo)

Statue of Liberty at sunset
The Statue of Liberty stands tall and proud as the sun sets over the New York Harbor at 4:38 p.m. EST on Jan. 14, 2018, in this photo captured by astrophotographer Gowrishankar L. from Lower Manhattan. (Image credit: Gowrishankar L.)

Lady Liberty's torch seems to be ablaze with a huge glowing orb as a helicopter photobombs her moment in this stunning sunset photo by New York City astrophotographer Gowrishankhar ("Gowri") Lakshminarayanan. 

From Lower Manhattan, the photographer snapped this series of sunset images on Jan. 14, 2018, 11 days after Earth's perihelion — the moment at which the Earth and sun are at their closest point all year. This phenomenon occurs about two weeks after the winter solstice in December. [Gallery: Scientists' Favorite Sun Photos by Solar Dynamics Observatory]

A composite image shows the sun setting gradually behind the Statue of Liberty. (Image credit: Gowrishankar L.)

In another view of the setting sun, Gowri built a composite image using six frames taken 3 minutes apart to show the sun's progression across the sky. The reds, oranges and yellows of the cloudy background in the time-lapse image emphasize the stark grandeur of the Statue of Liberty.

Gowri told that he planned the shot using a tool called the Photographer's Ephemeris, which allowed him "to align the solar disc with the torch." According to the photographer, "the short sweep of the ecliptic during winter months makes it favorable to align … the setting sun with the Statue of Liberty." 

Using seven HDR images to create a composite, the photographer emphasized the sun reflecting on the water without over exposing the sun itself. Above Lady Liberty, a helicopter clears the solar disc with contrails glowing brightly behind it. (Image credit: Gowrishankar L.)

The photographer used a Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR camera and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L lens to capture the images.

Editor's note: If you captured an amazing astronomy photo and would like to share it with for a story or gallery, send images and comments to

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Christine Lunsford
Producer and Contributing Writer

Christine Lunsford joined the team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.