southern milky way

Why would the sky glow red? An aurora! A solar storm in 2012, mostly coming from an active sunspot, showered particles on the Earth that excited oxygen atoms high in the Earth’s atmosphere. As the excited element’s electrons fell back to their ground state, they emitted a red glow. 

The sky that night, however, also glowed with more familiar but more distant objects, including the central disk of our Milky Way Galaxy on the left, and the neighboring Large and Small Magellanic Cloud galaxies on the right. 

Image Credit & Copyright: Alex Cherney (Terrastro, TWAN)

Here’s the labelled image for anyone who is interested:


Milky Way between the Pines - Jarrahdale, Western Australia by inefekt69 on Flickr.


The Very Large Telescope and the star system Alpha Centauri European Southern Observatory


Dark Emu and Scorpius Rising by Alan Dyer
Via Flickr:
The Dark Emu of aboriginal sky lore rising in the east at the OzSky 2016 star party at Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia, on April 2, 2016. The sweep of the Milky Way from Carina at upper right to Sagittarius at lower left just rising takes in much of the splendours of the southern sky. The Dark Emu itself is made of dark lanes in the Milky Way, with the dark Coal Sack at upper centre forming his head and beak. The dark lane through Centaurus forms his neck. At left is Scorpius rising, with Mars and Saturn to the left of Antares. The Small Magellanic Cloud is at lower right setting. The Zodiacal Band and Gegenschein add the brighter sky at upper left. This is a stack of 5 x 3-minute exposures, all tracked on the iOptron Sky Tracker, and with the 14mm Rokinon lens at f/2.8 and filter modified Canon 5D MkII at ISO 2000. The ground comes from one 8-minute exposure at ISO 800 with the tracker motor off taken right after the tracked shots. This provides the sharp foreground, with a photographer with the OzSky star party at lower right. The composite does leave some ghosly trailed trees at left and along the horizon. But I think this looks rather neat.


View of the Milky Way over the telescopes of the European Southern Observatory I believe, in the high desert of Chile