Who Tore The Sky In Two?

The light around the galactic core of the Milky Way fills the skies above the red dunes of the Kalahari, from our vantage point at Killiekrankie Desert Camp.  The light trails beneath are from a neighbour's torch, searching for the lions which were seen earlier on atop the dunes to the left.

On our recent adventure in the Kalahari, South Africa we embraced all opportunities for star gazing.  En-route to the Kalahari we’d stopped off at SALT – the Southern Africa Large Telescope and had enrolled on a stargazing tour with them – this turned out to be an incredible introduction to the stars and constellations of the Southern Hemisphere. I put into practice what I’d learned and I was soon spotting the Scorpion and Orion, Leo and the Jewel Box (an incredible and intense selection of stars that twinkle an array of colours).

Each night we never failed to be impressed by the sheer volume and variety of stars and planets that could be viewed with the naked eye.  The immediate darkness of the night was quickly consumed by the brightness and volume of the stars, planets, milky way and magellenic clouds overhead. Many a happy evening would be spent  stargazing in the company of jackals whilst the braai roared in the background.

What amazed me was the milky way – it appeared as if the sky had been torn in two. Without the aid of any binoculars, telescopes or camera lenses you could see this incredible division in the sky and make out individual stars, planets and spot what looked like black holes in the centre of the milky way. I was immediately hooked.

I cannot take credit for these amazing images, they are solely a result of the hard work and dedication of my very talented hubby, Alistair Knock. Any questions on lens, composition, gear, “how on earth’s” etc please direct to him… I would be useless answering them.

For more of Ali’s work see the Sky Challenge Blog and his ‘Space’ gallery.

A well deserved glass of wine under the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud next to the tent at Kalahari Tented Camp, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.  Wow.

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