The stars of the big dipper, a well known
asterism in the
are easy to recognize in
In fact, northern hemisphere skygazers often
the line indicated by the two stars at the far right.
Extending off the top of this image, that line leads
to Polaris, the North Star, conveniently located near the
north celestial pole.
Following the arc
of the dipper's handle also leads
to another well known celestial
beacon of the northern sky -
yet this dreamlike scene takes you instead to
a shining mountaintop castle.
Big Dipper Castle might be an
appropriate name in this stunning view,
but its traditional name is
Poised above a sea of clouds that mute the city lights below,
the castle lies in the
Swabian Alb range of southern Germany,
an area that was once a reef in an