The Majesty of the Milky Way

November 21, 2013

Wide Field Milky Way 1   2013 f

Photographer: Martin Campbell
Summary Authors: Martin Campbell; Jim Foster

The image above offers a glorious view of the Milky Way as observed with a fisheye lens exposed for 30 minutes on July 8, 2013. It was taken from the renowned Pic Du Midi Observatory in southern France, at an altitude of about 10,000 ft (3,050 m). The view is toward the most luminous portion of the Milky Way, the Galactic Center in Sagittarius, approximately 27,000 light years away. It's thought that most of Earth's 7 billion inhabitants have never even seen this faint band of light -- the edge-on view of our galaxy seen from within. It can be observed throughout the year from darkened locations but is easier to see when the sun is on the opposite side of the sky during the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere or during winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Note that the Pyrenees Mountains are visible at the bottom of the image.

Photo details: Modified Canon 50d camera; Canon 15mm fisheye lens; 30-minute stack.