Milky Way Sparkles Over Windmill in Amazing Panoramic Photo
The Milky Way arches over an old windmill near Paulden, Arizona. Astrophotographer Sean Parker sent this image to SAPCE.com on Dec. 30, 2013.
Credit: Sean Parker | www.sean-parker.com

Our dazzling Milky Way galaxy shines over an old windmill in this stunning panoramic image recently sent in to SPACE.com by an amateur astronomer.

Astrophotographer Sean Parker captured this splendid 14-shot panoramic view of the Milky Way arching over Paulden, Ariz. Parker sent the image, he titled "Ice," to SPACE.com on Dec. 30.

The planet Jupiter, bright star Sirius, constellation Orion and open star cluster the Pleaides can also be seen toward the right in the photo. [See more amazing photos of our Milky Way galaxy]

Dust off your spiral arms and fatten up your bulge — it's time to tap into your inner galaxy to test your smarts about the Milky Way. Our home in space is a strange and wondrous place that scientists are still trying to figure out. See what you know!
The Milky Way Galaxy is organized into spiral arms of giant stars that illuminate interstellar gas and dust. The sun is in a finger called the Orion Spur.
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Milky Way Quiz: Test Your Galaxy Smarts
Dust off your spiral arms and fatten up your bulge — it's time to tap into your inner galaxy to test your smarts about the Milky Way. Our home in space is a strange and wondrous place that scientists are still trying to figure out. See what you know!
The Milky Way Galaxy is organized into spiral arms of giant stars that illuminate interstellar gas and dust. The sun is in a finger called the Orion Spur.
0 of questions complete

The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy stretching between 100,000 to 120,000 light-years in diameter. It comprises gas, dust and roughly 400 billion stars. The portion of the galaxy we see is the center of the galaxy, as seen from one of its outer arms. 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 spacephotos@space.com.

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