Stars Over the Pillars of Hercules
By: Alan Dyer
|Camera:||Canon EOS 5D Mark II|
In ancient times these twin mountains marked the end of the known world – beyond lay a great unknown sea.
Two mornings ago, before dawn, we sailed through the Straits of Gibraltar, known in ancient times as the Pillars of Hercules. The two massive peaks guarding the entrance to the Mediterranean Ocean were supposedly created by the legendary figure of Greek mythology to separate the two continents, Europe and Africa. Beyond them was a vast and forbidding ocean that few dared to sail.
The feature image above shows Sirius and Canis Major shining above the African side of the Pillars, the mountain known as Jebel Musa. Illumination is by moonlight, twilight and streetlight.
The image above shows the more famous Rock of Gibraltar, on the European side of the Straits. This is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
This image, with the nearly Full Moon in the sky, shows our ship, the Star Flyer, approaching Jebel Musa. We departed the Mediterranean to visit Morocco, then Cadiz in Spain. We’re now heading out into the once great unknown sea, the Atlantic, for a November 3 meeting with the shadow of the Moon.
The final image shows Orion, Sirius and Jupiter shining amid the rigging of our four-masted clipper ship, again by moonlight. We hope it’s clear skies and smooth sailing as we cross the Atlantic.
– Alan, October 22, 2013 / © 2013 Alan Dyer