Quek ZongYe of Singapore captured this image of the Milky Way glowing over Hawaiʻi's Halemaʻumaʻu Crater on Sept. 12, 2012. The image was released on Oct. 14, 2013.
Credit: Quek ZongYe from Singapore
The Milky Way dazzles over the molten glow rising from Hawaii's Halema'uma'u Crater in this brilliant photo by an amateur astronomer.
Photographer Quek ZongYe of Singapore took this photo on Sept. 12, 2012, but only recently shared it with SPACE.com. He used a Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera to photograph the crater, which is located within the massive summit caldera of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawaii.
Managing to capture a balance between the brightness of the fiery crater with the glittering Milky Way required a bit of resourcefulness. [See more amazing photos of the Milky Way Galaxy]
"Due to the difference in brightness between the volcanic lava glow and the dim Milky Way — in order to capture a balanced scene in one shot— I used a piece of leaf picked up from the area and placed it in front of the lens, covering the glow from the volcanic crater and only exposing it in the last two seconds out of the total 30-second exposure," he told SPACE.com via email.
Our home galaxy the Milky Way is barred spiral galaxy comprising roughly 400 billion stars. It stretches between 100,000 to 120,000 light-years in diameter and appears as a band of glittering light in the night sky. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).
To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by SPACE.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.