Star Trails over the San Juan Mountains
This is a panoramic image showing the paths of the stars through the sky in early summer above the San Juan Mountains. The blurry blotch in the sky to the right of Mt. Sneffels is the Milky Way, rendered a smear by the motion of the earth during the 30-minute exposures of the sky. The apparent arcing of the stars in concentric circles is due to the rotation of the earth, whose axis of rotation points to the North Star (Polaris) in the north and to a point in the southern hemisphere below the southern horizon from our latitude. Stars in the south, as shown here, appear to rotate around a point below the horizon. South is just to the left of Mt. Sneffels. The white streak in the sky in the Milky Way is a meteor, caught by the camera during the long exposure.