Erupting Villarica Volcano Under a Starry Sky

September 13, 2021


Photographer: Cari Letelier
Summary Authors: Cari Letelier; Cadan Cummings

The picture above features the erupting Villarrica volcano under a starry sky. Located in the Chilean Andes between the Los Ríos and Araucania regions, this 9,380 ft (2,860 m) tall volcano resides on the Mocha-Villarrica Fault Zone and is one of the most active stratovolcanoes in Chile. Villarrica is one of three stratovolcanoes in the region, with the other two volcanoes being the Quetrupillán and Lanín volcanoes. The landscape at the base of the volcano is a sacred location for the Mapuche people, who named this landform Rucapillán meaning “House of the Pillan” or “House of the Spirit”. 

Taken on January 5, 2021, this photo was perfectly timed to align the eruption plume with the celestial southern pole and the Magellanic Clouds. In the foreground, a chemamull wooden statue used by Mapuche for funeral rites watches over the volcano and the beautiful Milky Way. 

Photo Details: Nikon D850 and Nikkor 14-24 f2.8; 14mm f2.8 ISO4000 30″

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