Starry night: skies over New Zealand

Photo: Ngauruhoe Rise, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (2.0) image from astronomr (aka Jason Brown)'s photostream, shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool. Another beautiful shot, showing trails as the stars move across the sky, is here.

Photographer Jason Brown has a blog with more wonderful astronomy photos, and says,

The first processed shot in the thousands of pictures we took on a ridge under Tongariro, 9 March 2013.

In Maori legend, the mountains were once gods and warriors of great strength. Seven mountains once stood next to each other around Lake Taupo. All were male except for the beautiful Pihanga. One night the mountains fought fiercely for her attention. There were violent eruptions, smoke and fire as the land trembled under the violent battle. In the morning Pihanga stood next to the victor, Tongariro, who became the supreme leader of the land. Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu stood a respectable distance behind but Tauhara – unable to completely leave his love – sat smouldering at the northern end of the lake. Putauaki (Mt Edgecumbe) headed north towards the dawn, and ended up 160 kilometres away, while Mt Taranaki dragged himself south, his tears creating the great Whanganui River as he went.