It’s called “Electric Night” and it’s the photo that NASA, for December 4, declared as the winner of the Apod, theAstronomy Picture of the Day. To shoot it was a Sardinian photographer, Ivan Pedretti, who managed to capture a particularly exciting moment, directly from the lighthouse of Capo Spartivento, a promontory of south-western Sardinia which constitutes the eastern limit of the Gulf of Teulada and the western limit of the Gulf of Cagliari.
A threatening storm
With the camera pointed south towards Algeria, Pedretti managed to capture a threatening thunderstorm across the Mediterranean Sea, with several lightning shots immortalized during the 25-second wide-angle exposure. Further afield, scattered across the sky, there are billions of stars that all make up the central band of our Milky Way together. The INAF portal also spoke of the shot, theNational Institute of Astrophysics, which underlined the beauty of the photo and the majesty of the Milky Way. “With a little effort of imagination, it seems that it is our galaxy, as if it were the hand of Jupiter Pluvius, that throws the lightning and sets off the storm on the placid expanse of the Mediterranean water,” write the experts.
The brightness of Antares
In the shot, actually taken last June, astrophysicists indicate that the constellation of Scorpio, typical of the sky in summer, is completely obscured by clouds, except for Antares, a particularly bright star that manages to emerge in the dark, while the tail of the zodiacal animal is located just behind the intertwining of lightning, in correspondence with the same Milky Way. On the side with respect to the galaxy, Saturn can be noticed, however less flashy. “I was there to take pictures of our galaxy, that night the lights outside the lighthouse were turned off so as to allow me and two other friends to take the Milky Way with the Lighthouse, to repeat a photo I took in 2013 with the which I won an important prize. Then when we finished our shots in the distance I saw a lightning bolt, there was a thunderstorm, off the coast of Algeria, so we went a certain distance from the lighthouse and, luckily, I only took a lightning bolt at the galactic center, thanks to the low clouds ”, revealed Pedretti at INAF.