Incredible View: Camping Under the Milky Way

by Nancy Atkinson on July 2, 2014

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A 10 panel panorama of the Milkyway, as seen from the top of the Amphitheatre mountain range in the Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa. Credit and copyright: Tanja Sund.

A 10 panel panorama of the Milkyway, as seen from the top of the Amphitheatre mountain range in the Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa. Credit and copyright: Tanja Sund.

During the summer months, many of us hit the trails and do a little camping. But how often do you get a view like this?

Wow! Click on the image above to see larger versions on Flickr.

Astrophotographer Tanja Sund and a companion pitched their tent in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa, a 200-kilometer-long mountainous range in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, with the tent sitting just 10 meters from a 1 kilometer-high vertical drop. “This is the home of the Tugela Waterfall, second highest waterfall in the world,” Tanja wrote on Flickr.

“The hike up to the top of the Amphitheatre took about 3 hours from the Sentinel car park, using the chain ladders to reach the summit,” Tanja said. “This is the only day hiking trail which leads to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment. We overnighted next to the Tugela falls to catch the Milkyway, which rises to the east over the local settlements.”

The image was taken on June 29, 2014.

According to the website about Drakensberg, the Zulu people named it ‘Ukhahlamba’ and the Dutch Voortrekkers ‘The Dragon Mountain.’ The Drakensberg Mountains are known for the hiking trails, areas for rock or ice-climbing, abseiling, white water rafting or helicopter rides to view the “awe-inspiring basalt cliffs, snowcapped in winter, that tower over riverine bush, lush yellowwood forests and cascading waterfalls.” At the top of Sani Pass is the highest pub in Africa, at 3,000 meters above sea level. Something for everyone!

Here’s the specs:
Canon 5D Mark III
24-70mm LII f/2.8
Shot at 24mm, F/3.2
20sec single exposures
10x image panorama
Processed in LightRoom & Photoshop.

Check out more of Tanja’s work on Flickr.

Want to get your astrophoto featured on Universe Today? Join our Flickr group or send us your images by email (this means you’re giving us permission to post them). Please explain what’s in the picture, when you took it, the equipment you used, etc.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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