Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mountains

Valle Pesio, Italy (July 1, 2004)

By birth and trade, I have a connection to mountains.

The name of region where I was born, Piedmont, literally means "at the feet of the mountains". Torino is surrounded by three sides by the Alps, and by hills on the remaining side. It takes less than one hour to get to the mountains, no matter which side you drive. I spent all the summers of my childhood in small villages in the Alps, which is where my parents have moved to follow my sister that married in one of those villages. I went to graduate school in Trieste, which is a short drive from the Dolomites.

All ground-based astronomical observatories are on mountains. To see the stars you need thin and dry air, otherwise is like trying to see the boat from the bottom of the ocean. The less the air, the sharper the images; the less the humidity, the wider the color spectrum one can access. In addition, mountains are often above the clouds and in remote dark areas far from the city lights.

This affinity led me to visit mountains in all continents (if you count Canary Islands as part of Africa, and ignoring Antarctica for the time being). It time to tell some of the stories of my mountains, and show some of their photos, I have collected all these years. The first installment of this series will start with the next post: follow the new/old post links at the bottom to navigate this series.

Norte Chico, Chile (January 6, 2006)

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