Thursday, February 17, 2022

Early Season Milky Way over Western Australia

Early Season Milky Way over Western Australia

Astrophotographer Trevor Dobson: "This is a 12 shot panorama of the Milky Way as it rises above an old stone shed on a wheat farm at Greenhills, 1.5 hours east of Perth in Western Australia. This is a very early shot of the core taken not long before the start of astronomical twilight where the rising sun's ambient light starts to affect the sky."

The Fading Milky Way

Light pollution is a growing environmental problem that threatens to erase the night sky before its time. A recent study revealed that perhaps two-thirds of the world's population can no longer look upwards at night and see the Milky Way—a hazy swath of stars that on warm summer nights spans the sky from horizon to horizon.

The Milky Way is dimming, not because the end of the Universe is near, but rather as a result of light pollution: the inadvertent illumination of the atmosphere from street lights, outdoor advertising, homes, schools, airports and other sources. Every night billions of bulbs send their energy skyward where microscopic bits of matter—air molecules, airborne dust, and water vapor droplets—reflect much of the wasted light back to Earth. 

(Source: NASA)

Learn more:

International Dark-Sky Association

Globe at Night

Night Sky Network (NASA JPL)

Tourism Australia:

Image Technical Data:

Nikon d810a, 50mm, ISO 6400, f/2.8

Foreground: 3 x 25 seconds

Sky: 9 x 30 seconds

iOptron SkyTracker

Hoya Red Intensifier filter

Image Credit: Trevor Dobson

Location: Greenhills, Western Australia

Image Date:  February 4, 2022

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