Night Sky over Pearl and Hermes Atoll

(click on the picture below)


The night sky over Pearl and Hermes Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands takes on two very different extremes.  With no Moon, the darkness is only broken by starlight, the arc of the Milky Way and a few lanterns that we have in camp.  When the Moon returns, though, it’s almost as if another sun has risen.  Green Sea Turtles haul out on the beach in greater numbers, birds are more active and life in camp no longer requires a flashlight.

These tents represent the temporary infrastructure of the Hawaiian Monk Seal research field camp, an annual summer deployment of NOAA biologists to assess the population of the critically endangered species.

See more panoramas from the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument here.


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