With the coming of the warmer weather, people in Austria are returning to the Grossmugl Star Walk installation, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Vienna.
This image was shot on the trail only a few hours before the April 4, 2015 total lunar eclipse. The nearly full moon was shining brightly, which illuminated the landscape and gave the sky a deep bluish hue.
The clouds parted for the wide-angle shot, which faces west and shows the prominent star patterns of Orion, the Hyades and the Pleiades. Venus shines brilliantly well above the dissolving clouds, preparing for its passage between the Hyades and the Pleiades on the nights around April 11-13.
The Grossmugl Star Walk is a permanent self-guided installation encouraging astronomical observations with the unaided eye. Nine displays along the 1.5 km long trail explain general astronomical topics in an easy-to-read way. Visitors read how to spot star colors, artificial satellites, the Milky Way and other objects in the night sky.
Project Nightflight designed the Sternenweg Großmugl and built it in close collaboration with the municipality of Grossmugl in 2014.
A detailed description of the Star Walk installation here.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.