By far the most amazing visual spectacle in the night sky is our very own Milky Way Galaxy. To really appreciate it though you need to be far away from populated regions so that city lights do not mask out the detail.
This weekend I had the good fortune to spend time with my family and friends in the Flinders Ranges, a five hour drive from home. Aside from the rugged beauty of this place the night sky and the Milky Way Galaxy was just amazing.
While working on this image I noticed two smudges in the top left corner I originally thought were clouds. As it turns out they are clouds, the Large Magellanic Cloud (around 163,000 light years distant) is far left while the Small Magellanic Cloud (around 200,000 light years distant) is near the top. Another curious object, the bright star immediately to the left of the bottom of the Large Magellanic Cloud is not a star at all. It is the Tarantula Nebula, one of the most interesting visible non-stellar objects and and probably the most active source of new star formation in our local group of galaxies.
Next time you are out camping or venturing into some remote parts, remember to look up into the night sky and experience the wonder of it.
Photo: Robert Rath, ‘The Milky Way’ 193s f/2.8 ISO1600 15mm