Rekindled flame

By Phil Plait | March 27, 2012 2:33 pm

Brad Goldpaint is a professional photographer who takes devastating photos of the sky — like the amazing one of the Milky Way over the Venus/Jupiter conjunction — and he specializes in putting amazing foreground objects in his shots. I saw this particular picture on his Google+ page, and asked him if I could post it here. He said yes:

This photo, "Rekindled Flame", was shot on May 3, 2011 at Balanced Rock in Arches National Park. I asked Brad about the glow on the horizon, and he suspects it was a town’s light, but the nearest town in that direction was nearly 200 km away!

One thing I’ll note: the rock on the left — that kind of formation is called a "hoodoo", and I love that word — wasn’t being lit by the town’s light; Brad actually used a flashlight to very lightly illuminate it. I like this; if it had been just a shadow it wouldn’t have looked nearly s impressive as it does in this picture; the slightly lit nature gives it depth and, somehow, a sense of patience I rather like.

Anthropomorphization? Sure, why not. Scientists have imagination, too, y’know.

Image credit: Brad Goldpaint, used with permission.


Related Posts:

- Galactic arch over the conjunction
- The skies reflect our spinning world (a gorgeous time lapse video by Brad Goldpaint)
- Well, at least light pollution makes for a pretty time lapse

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Pretty pictures
MORE ABOUT: Brad Goldpaint, hoodoo

Comments (13)

Links to this Post

  1. National Park Stars. « SouthwestDesertLover | May 21, 2012
  1. This is awesome. A rare example (in my opinion) of “light painting” being incorporated into a photo in a good, tasteful, non-overdone way.

  2. I thought you were against anthropomorphization? Things like “the car wants to go straight”, or “water wants to form a sphere”.

  3. Grizzly

    Really? I thought that was just Moab judging by the fact that he’s facing south (more or less).

  4. BJN

    Actually, I think the view is to the east. If so, the lights could be Grand Junction, CO.

  5. Nigel Depledge

    That is one seriously cool photo.

  6. Jeff

    what I’m realizing is that what connects in a personal way with me, is shots where the earth is in the foreground, celestial objects in background. It just stands out this way how the earth is a planet like all others, “floating” in the bigger space around it. Those connections make me feel good intellectually as well as a human being, to see the proper perspective. I realize that if you leave it up to the human species at large to shape your perspective, they’ll generally emphasize the human-centered aspects , whereas those are insignificant to the universe at large. Maybe if most people had this proper perspective, they’d make better decisions that would bear on a better society and history, I think so.

  7. Thank you all for your comments on my image. To clear things up a bit, this image was taken facing north. It is still unclear where that source of light is coming from. There are no major cities in that direction that could produce such a strong glow. It could be some kind of ‘temporary’ light source; maybe headlights from cars in the distance. I’m open to suggestions.
    Jeff, that is exactly what the past 2 years of my work has been dedicated to… finding ways to reconnect us.

  8. kat wagner

    what Jeff said. the Universe is enormous and beautiful and we are a tiny part of it.

  9. Wes

    I agree with BJN. It’s Grand Junction, CO. See the bright star a bit to the right of top-center? That’s Vega. Based on the orientation of the Milky Way, I’d say the picture was taken around 1:00 AM local time (give or take an hour). That would place Vega a bit north of east, or directly above Grand Junction as viewed from Balanced Rock.

  10. Carlos

    Amazing how my first split-second reaction is “cool sunrise”, quickly followed by “it can’t be a sunrise if there are starts you m&*&*” The brain immediately wants to latch to a known phenomena, even when it knows full well it is not possible.

  11. Ron

    Sydney is over 300 kilometers from Siding Springs observatory Coonabarabran NSW Australia,and its light glow can be seen from there.
    How long was the exposure ect?

  12. Michael

    That light is definitely from Moab – about 10 miles south of Balanced Rock.

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