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The Solar System’s Planet Trails

Stars trail through a clear morning sky inthis postcard froma rotating planet.The timelapse image is constructed from consecutive exposures madeover nearly three hours with a camera fixed to a tripod besidethe Forbidden City in Beijing, China on June 24.Arcing above the eastern horizon after the series ofexposures began,a waning crescent Moon left the brightest streak and watery reflection.On that date theplanets of the Solar Systemwere alsolined up along the eclipticand left their own trails before sunrise. Saturn was first to rise on that morning and the ringed planet's trailstarts close to the top right edge, almost out of the frame.Innermost planet Mercury rose only just before the Sun though.It left the shortest trail, visible against the twilightnear the horizon at the far left.Uranus and Neptune are faint and hard to find,but mingled with the star trails theSolar System'splanet trails are all labeled in the scene.

Image Credit &Copyright: Zheng Zhi

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