The scale and magnificent grandeur of the Gran Sasso d’Italia mountains is emphasised by the seven distant motorcyclists (in the foreground), dwarfed against one of the peaks. Known as “Little Tibet”, the mountains are located in Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park, near L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy.
One of the most biologically diverse areas of Europe with a climate between that of the Mediterranean and that of the rest of continental Europe, the park contains more than two thousand plant species, many species of wildlife including the rare Abruzzo chamois, as well as wolves, brown bear, roe deer, wildcats, wild boars, foxes and squirrels. Notable birds include the golden eagle, the white-backed woodpecker, the goshawk, the common buzzard and the peregrine falcon.
Situated to the right of the main pic is the Campo Imperatore Near-Earth Object Survey (CINEOS), a branch of Rome Observatory that takes advantage of the elevation and absence of man-made light. It’s located on the slopes of Monte Portella at an altitude of 2,130 metres.
And whilst on the subject, a paper published in Nature suggests that of 1,715 stars in the right celestial position, to view Earth, seven of them are known to have their own orbiting exoplanets that might support life.
Someone is watching us!