merrick butte

The Milky Way Over Monument Valley : You don’t have to be at Monument Valley to see the Milky Way arch across the sky like this – but it helps. Only at Monument Valley USA would you see a picturesque foreground that includes these iconic rock peaks called buttes. Buttes are composed of hard rock left behind after water has eroded away the surrounding soft rock. In the featured image taken in 2012, the closest butte on the left and the butte to its right are known as the Mittens, while Merrick Butte can be seen just further to the right. High overhead stretches a band of diffuse light that is the central disk of our spiral Milky Way Galaxy. The band of the Milky Way can be spotted by almost anyone on almost any clear night when far enough from a city and surrounding bright lights. via NASA

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Mars and Orion over Monument Valley
Image Credit & Copyright: Wally Pacholka (Astropics, TWAN)

Welcome to The World At Night. Sharing the night sky seen around the world, this view from Monument Valley, USA includes a picturesque foreground of famous buttes. Buttes are composed of hard rock left behind after water eroded away the surrounding soft rock. The two buttes on the image left are known as the Mittens, while Merrick Butte is on the right. Recorded in 2007 December, planet Mars is at the left of the skyscape, a glowing beacon of orange that is the brightest object in the frame. To the right of Mars lies the constellation of Orion. Betelgeuse is the reddish star near the center and the Belt of Orion and the Orion Nebula are farther right. Finally, the bright blue star Rigel appears above Merrick Butte in this stunning view of The World At Night.

12 of 17: Monument Valley at Sunset

Native American holy land referred to by the Navajo as Tse Bii’ Ndzisgaii (Valley of the Rocks). Visible in this photograph are the West and East Mitten Buttes as well as Merrick Butte. The John Ford Westerns of the 1930’s with John Wayne as lead actor used the Valley as the backdrop, making instantly recognizable as a quintessential representation of the romance of the Wild West.

Camera: Nikon D810; 38 mm; f/10; 1/40s; ISO 160