Star trails from Inside the Caldera at Nisyros

September 02, 2021


Photographer: Anthony Ayiomamitis

Summary Author: Anthony Ayiomamitis; Cadan Cummings

The photo above shows a nearly six-hour time-lapse composite of star trails above the volcanic caldera on the Greek island of Nisyros. Located in the eastern Aegean Sea between the islands of Rhodes and Kos, Nisyros is the cone remnant of a volcano with the collapsed caldera floor sitting at the center of the island.  Stefanos crater is the main point of interest within the 2.5 mile or 4-kilometer-wide ellipsoid caldera, measuring approximately 1000 ft (300 m) in diameter and 88 ft (27 m) deep. The crater is estimated to be between 3,000 to 4,000 years old and is largely composed of loose, soft rock formations that erode quickly from rainfall. In contrast, the volcano is believed to be significantly older and is around 150,000 years old. The vantage point of the image is looking directly north from within the Stefanos crater. This beautiful time-lapse image was captured in summer 2018 using a circular fisheye lens to capture as much of the crater periphery as possible. The intention was to collect six hours of long-exposure images, however, 10 exposures had to be removed due to airplane traffic and the last 20 minutes of exposures were not included due to wind gusts moving the tripod. As a result, removing these captures led to small gaps in the brighter star trails. For more information about this island region and how the image was capture, see Anthony’s website post.

Photo Details: Peleng 8mm circular fisheye lens, f/8 aperture, 120-second exposures

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