The Dawn of the Nightglory

The nighttime Mont Blanc massif reflecting in alpine lake Lac de Chéserys from Aiguilles Rouge above Chamonix in the French Alps is one of the most iconic places in the Alps, especially when the Milky Way is rising just above Mont Blanc.
A summertime low pressure system dropped plenty of fresh snow lighting up the jagged peaks at new moon. Just before midnight, the sky opened up with the passage of the cold front with a few mid-level clouds rushing across the sky. The gusty winds calmed down just enough to ensure a magnificent reflection of the stars and the mountains in the lake.
The Milky Way rises just above the main summit of Mont Blanc. The brightest part comprises the galactic center with the star constellation Sagittarius in a distance of about 25000 lightyears. The Scorpion constellation is brightly reflecting in Lac de Chésery revealing its blue spectral star colors. The bright reddish Lagoon nebula is surrounded by dark interstellar dust clouds that block the light of the stars behind. The bright Milky Way of the Scutum constellation is visible at the top of the image.
Most of the peaks of the Mont Blanc massif are well above 13000 ft (4000 m). The huge peak to the left is L’Aiguille Verte (13524 ft, 4122 m) followed by the distant chain of Les Grandes Jorasses (13780 ft, 4200 m), the jagged peaks of the Aiguille des Grand Charmoz to Aiguille du Midi (12605 ft, 3842 m) and European Alps highest peak Mont Blanc itself (15781ft, 4810 m).

August 2011
Canon 5D MkII, Rokinon 14 mm, f/2.8, static and dynamic exposure of 72 sec, ISO 1600, tripod, AstroTrac TT320 digital astronomical mount
European Alps Gallery » The Dawn of the Nightglory