This is an incredible image of a very interesting place that I’ve actually been; the Trona Pinnacles, Trona, California. It’s a superb place to stop for a photo op if you’re making the drive from Los Angeles to Death Valley. Unfortunately I never had the chance to view it under dark skies, because as Evan Thomas shows us here, its night side has a mystique all its own as the brilliant light of the Milky Way Galaxy rises overhead from many thousands of light years away.
There’s some perspective to be had here……not just with the mind boggling scale and distances involved with the night sky and our home galaxy in this image but of the pinnacles themselves. These 500 or so pinnacles also known as “Tufa” are 30-40 ft. wide and rise high as 140 ft. and get this, they were formed under water. That’s right, where this image was taken is called Searles Lake Basin and the area used to be deep under water due to runoff from the Sierra Nevada’s creating a chain of inland seas. In addition to Evan’s links, which you need to go check out because his work is amazing; I added (as I always do) a link to this area so if you wish you can read more about it.
Even Thomas Photography: http://www.evanthomasphoto.com/
Department of the Interior: Trona Pinnacles: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/ridgecrest/trona.html