New Year’s is the most celebrated holiday in Buenos Aires — tons of family, food and fireworks, which explode citywide at midnight, but keep popping off well into the morning. Back home from family festivities at Hernan’s — we were 25 with Yalu’s family — I was enjoying the fresh, cool air that came as a wonderful relief after our week-long hot spell. (Three days sin luz — without electricity.) I found myself clicking away a bit, to capture the Southern Cross, which you can make out to the left of the firework burst in this photo, if you know what to look for. It’s on its left side, pointing to to the right, south. The outermost light steam from the firework burst cuts through the center of the Cross, covering over Acrux, the bottommost star in the constellation.
The firework burst came as a total surprise. It was pure luck that I had the camera on the tripod with the 20-second exposure dialed in. This was the third of three small, local fireworks that eruputed within my view from our patio, just outside our kitchen door. When I heard the report for this one, I squeezed the trigger and captured this view of Buenos Aires New Years at 03:45, 1/1/11.
The previous capture better shows off the Southern Cross:
For all you astronomy geeks (you, Peter), a NASA-enhanced close up: