The World at Night, or TWAN, is a new program developed by the nonprofit group Astronomers Without Borders. The project seeks to cultivate a universal worldview by assembling a collection of stunning photographs of the world’s most beautiful and historic sites set against a nighttime backdrop of stars, planets, and celestial events.

When borders vanish, political and cultural differences often become irrelevant. Wars have been fought over boundaries, religion, race, and beliefs. But the view from space reveals the true nature of our cosmic home: a borderless planet divided only into land and sea. While few will experience that downward view firsthand, we can all gaze upward at a night sky that also has no borders. The stars shine equally upon all nations and regions.

The following pages contain Flash movies of some of the most amazing skyscapes ever captured. To view them, you'll need to download the free Flash Player from Adobe. And you'll find more still shots in the Gallery department of the May issue of Sky & Telescope, on newsstands April 1st.

Please allow a few moments for each of the movies to load.

Western Colorado at Dawn

A surprise wave of clouds adds impact to this rocky western scene in Grand Valley, Colorado.

Credit: Thad V'Soske/TWAN/

Colorado Milky Way

The summer Milky Way above Colorado National Monument.

Credit: Thad V'Soske/TWAN/

The Volcano Windy Night

A windy autumn night at slopes of Mount Damavand, the highest live volcano of all Asia. The extra star close to Alpha Persei (Mirfak) is the erupted Comet Holmes.

Credit: Babak Tafreshi/TWAN/

Canopus Rise

Starry night above Sasan Palace in Fars Province of Iran. The 1,600-year-old palace was used by Sasanid kings. The bright star in the upper part of the view is Sirius, while the star rising behind the palace is Canopus.

Credit: Babak Tafreshi/TWAN/

Alborz Moonset

Stars of summer constellations and the Milky Way rise over the Alborz Mountains of Iran.

Credit: Babak Tafreshi/TWAN/


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