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EarthSky // Today's Image Release Date: Oct 13, 2013

Star trails, moon trail, over Monument Valley

The bright light in this 25-minute exposure by Victor Goodpasture is the moon.

View larger. | Star trails over Monument Valley on September 27, 2013 from Victor Goodpasture.  The bright object is the moon.  Thank you, Victor!

View larger. | Star trails over Monument Valley on September 27, 2013 from Victor Goodpasture. The bright object is the moon. See more from Victor at Professional Digital Photography on Facebook.

EarthSky Facebook friend Victor Goodpasture captured this photo at Monument Valley. He wrote:

This is a classic example of taking the extra effort to get the shot. I was the only person at the overlook. From 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., I shot with a variety of exposures and settings. Around 1:10 a.m., the moon rose. This is a 25-minute exposure at f5.6 at ISO 100. Shot with a Canon 5D Mark II using a EF24mm f/1.4L II USM lens. Yes, it was cold but the results were worth it. BTW, because it was cold, it reduced the digital noise that occurs during a long exposure.

Read more: What are star trails?

Monument Valley, by the way, is located on the Arizona-Utah state line near the Four Corners area, where four states come together (Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado). It’s characterized by several large sandstone buttes; the highest reaches about 1,000 feet (300 meters) above the valley floor.

It’s said that when people think of the American West, they think of a landscape like that in Monument Valley.

Monument Valley in daytime.  Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Monument Valley in daytime. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

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