Northern Cross and Chapel Cross

July 20, 2011

Photographer: Stavros Hios
Summary Author: Stavros Hios; Jim Foster

The photo above shows the Northern Cross, an asterism in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan, reclining above and just to the left of the cross atop the ancient chapel in the foreground. It was taken in the early morning of April 23, 2011 from an elevation of about 3,450 ft (1,051 m). Deneb, the bright star at lower left, represents the head of the cross, and Albireo, just above the chapel cross, represents the bottom of the cross, which is lying on its side. A misty veil is spreading over the splotchy lights of Sparta on the Laconian plain below. Note that the yellow glow behind the chapel (to the left of the cross) is from the rising gibbous Moon. The brilliant 0.3 magnitude star at top center is Vega in the constellation of Lyra.

Photo details: Nikon D 3100 camera; 18 mm focal length; 20 second time exposure; ISO 1600.