A Stargazer Enjoying the view in a World of Contrasting Realities


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This single shot features a stargazer enjoying Andromeda galaxy, possible to se with the naked-eye from the newest territory of Dark Sky® Vale do Tua, in northern part of Portugal – a new certified Starlight Tourist Destination. Being one of the best spots to enjoy archeoastronomy, in the foreground we can see the silhouette from Forca do Freixiel, an ancient gallows from Middle Ages. The monument is believed to be unique in the Iberian Peninsula. It is formed by of 2 vertical granite pillars that supported a horizontal beam – which no longer exists – where was placed the noose. In this type of gallows, the condemned did not die by strangulation due to suspension, but by a garrote, being later on display in the gallows. The image pretends to show the contrasting reality between the morbid meaning from acts of ancient times, with our responsibility of respecting the history but evolving as better human beings while living in such a beautiful planet, we need an effort to keep preserving the beauty of the night sky. In the background, featuring the Andromeda in the middle of the scene, at left side, the orange planet Mars can be seen setting near the mountains while in the opposite direction, is visible the path of winter Milky Way against a starry sky in the presence of smooth greenish airglow.

PT: Num disparo único a imagem mostra um observador de estrelas apreciando a galáxia de Andrómeda, possível de observar a olho nu no Dark Sky® Vale do Tua, no norte de Portugal – é o mais recente destino turístico Starlight certificado. Sendo um dos melhores locais para desfrutar da arqueoastronomia, em primeiro plano, avista-se a silhueta da Forca do Freixiel, uma forca milenar da Idade Média. O monumento é considerado único na Península Ibérica. É formada por 2 pilares verticais de granito que suportavam uma viga horizontal – que já não existe – onde foi colocado o laço. Neste tipo de forca, o condenado não morria por estrangulamento por suspensão, mas por garrote, sendo posteriormente exposto na forca. A imagem pretende mostrar a realidade contrastante entre o sentido mórbido de actos da antiguidade, com a nossa responsabilidade actual em respeitar a história, mas simultaneamente evoluir como seres humanos melhores, enquanto habitantes de um planeta único, precisamos de um esforço e empenho contínuo para preservar a beleza do céu noturno. Em pano de fundo é possível ver a galáxia de Andrómeda no centro do enquadramento e à esquerda, o planeta Marte. Com a sua tonalidade alaranjada, prepara-se para desaparecer por detrás das montanhas, enquanto na direção oposta, é visível o caminho da Via Láctea de inverno contra um céu estrelado na presença de suave de airglow esverdeado.

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