Earth Shadow over Damavand
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Explanation: Through crystal clear skies this beautiful panorama follows the curve of planet Earth's shadow rising across the top of the world. The tantalizing twilight view is composed of eight single frames captured from 4,000 meters above sea level at sunset on April 6. Just above the dark grey Earth-shadow boundary lies a fading, pinkish, anti-twilight arch. Also known as the belt of Venus, its reddened and back-scattered sunlight finally merges with the still blue eastern sky. Standing tall near center along the rugged horizon line is the distant sharp peak of Mount Damavand in the snowy Alborz mountains, Iran. A feature in Persian mythology and literature, Damavand is a stratovolcano reaching 5,610 meters above sea level, the highest peak in Iran and the Middle East.
Mt Damavand - Ali Asgharifrom: Wikipedia
Damavand is a significant mountain in Persian mythology. It is the symbol of Iranian resistance against despotism and foreign rule in Persian poetry and literature. In Zoroastrian texts and mythology, the three-headed dragon Aži Dahāka was chained within Mount Damāvand, there to remain until the end of the world. In a later version of the same legend, the tyrant Zahhāk was also chained in a cave somewhere in Mount Damāvand after being defeated by Kāveh and Fereydūn. Persian poet Ferdowsi depicts this event in his masterpiece, the Shahnameh:
بیاورد ضحاک را چون نوند
به کوه دماوند کردش ببند
He brings Zahhak, himself a mountain to the peak of Damavand and binds his neck.
The mountain is said to hold magical powers in the Shahnameh. Damāvand has also been named in the Iranian legend of Arash (as recounted by Bal'ami) as the location from which the hero shot his magical arrow to mark the border of Iran, during the border dispute between Iran and Turan. The poem Damāvand by Mohammad Taqī Bahār is also one fine example of the mountain's significance in Persian literature. The first verse of this poem reads:
ای دیو سپید پای در بند
Ey dīve sepīde pāī dar band,
Oh white giant with feet in chains
ای گنبد گیتی، ای دماوند
Ey gonbade gītī, ay Damāvand
Oh dome of the world, Oh Mount Damāvand