Fisheye View of the Milky Way

April 10, 2009


Photographer:Philippe Moussette
Summary Authors: Philippe Moussette, Jim Foster

The photo above showing a fisheye view of the Milky Way was captured before dawn in early March of 2009 from the Mont Megantic Observatory in Quebec, Canada. Note the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) just above and to the right of the domed building. Polaris, the North Star, is at right-center. The bright object just to the left of the building is the first order magnitude star Arcturus (-0.05 magnitude), in Bootes (the Kite). Vega is the dazzling star (0.03 magnitude) near the center of the photo, and brilliant Jupiter is at far left. Current best estimates of how many stars reside in our home galaxy range from 100 to 400 billion stars, the densest knots of which are shown in the pearly strip spanning this photo and can be readily seen on clear nights from darkened locations.

Photo details: 40d Canon camera; 4.5 mm fisheye lens, 1600 ISO, 2-minute exposure.