Image Credit: Mike Taylor

This fantastic image is brought to us by Mike at Taylor Photography.

Here, Mike is at a boat landing looking over China Lake in Maine (USA). You can clearly make out the Milky Way’s dust lane and, surprisingly, a greenish hint of airglow near the horizon. Airglow is a phenomenon seen in the atmospheres of planets where the atmosphere glows. It’s caused by a variety of processes that takes place in the upper atmosphere. Other than those, I don’t see any particularly notable objects in this image. It’s possible Jupiter is the bright ‘star’ with an orangish tent about frame-center and to the right, but I’m not certain.

An interesting feature of this image can be seen in the lake. When Mike (and most astrophotographers) take a nightscape, the set a camera up on a mount that will track the sky (so, the camera moves at the same rate the night sky does). This allows photographers to capture a clear, crisp picture of the sky. If you look at this picture, the sky is very sharp, as it should be, but you can see star trails in the water. This is because the star’s reflection tracks in the opposite direction as their heavenly counterparts.

You can also see the light pollution halo from the city Augusta, which is about 20 miles from the spot Mike is shooting from. Both Mike and FQTQ collaborated with the International Dark-Sky Association in an effort to protect and preserve the night. Light pollution has a ton of unfavorable side effects affecting humans and animals alike. To learn more, see our further reading.

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