Morning Stars over Alpamayo

Equipment Info
-1678072/1000000 sec. / ISO 800
Nearest Area
Cordillera Blanca Range, Andes. Huascaran National Park, Perus
Huaraz, Peru
Brief Directions

9 hours north of Lima on the Pan-American Highway to Huaraz and then 6 hours partly on a gravel road to the village of Hualcayan where the trailhead is located.


I accidentally damaged my Olympus OMD MII and Olympus 14-150 lens early in the trek, but fortunately I had my OMD EM5 with the 14-42 EZ lens as a back up. Otherwise I would not have been able to get this shot. I used a Slik Sprint Mini II lightweight, but sturdy, tripod. Also, I used ISO bracketing to get this shot to be sure I got a shutter speed that would be fast enough to avoid a tail on the stars. [Please note that I submitted this same photo under the title Venus and Jupiter over Alpamayo. After that, I discovered, with the help of the Stanford Astronomical Society, that the identification of Venus and Jupiter was incorrect. Please cancel that submittal and consider this one instead.]


Alpamayo is 19,511 foot peak with a 4-sided pyramid summit. It is located in the Cordillera Blanca range. A survey of climbers concluded that it is the most beautiful mountain in the world. We were camped at 13,828 feet with a clear view of the summit. I was up before six and saw the stars over the summit in an absolutely clear sky just as the rising sun lit up the east face of the mountain. A few minutes later the stars were no longer visible in the brightening sky. The most visible star is Alpha Carinae, and the smaller one close to the summit is Tau Puppies. Both stars are in the Southern Hemisphere constellation Argo Navis, the ship used by Jason and the Argonauts.

Date Added
September 6, 2016
Date Taken
September 6, 2016