16th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Five plus Two
A panorama stitch I shot at sunrise from the top of the Gornergrat mountain (3100m/10200ft) near Zermatt (Switzerland). All five bright planets were visible in the sky at the same time, a celestial phenomenon that only happens roughly once every ten years, flanked to the left by Monte Rosa mountain (its Dufour peak is the highest in Switzerland, 4634m/15200ft) and to the right by the iconic Matterhorn (4478m/14700ft).
The sun is rising on the left, near Monte Rosa, while the pink glow behind the Matterhorn is light pollution from the city of Geneva some 100km away in a straight line.
Jupiter is by far the brightest object in the sky while Mercury is barely discernable in the early morning glow.
And finally the faithful pistenbullys are preparing the slopes for the skiers arriving in a few hours.
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||Nov. 30, 2018, 2:19 p.m.