Stunning Photos of Our Milky Way Galaxy (Gallery)

Milky Way Over Maui Space Surveillance Complex

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III/ Airman Magazine

The Milky Way over the Maui Space Surveillance Complex. Maui's climate provides virtually year-round viewing conditions made possible due to the dry, clean air and minimal scattered light from surface sources, which enable visibility exceeding 150 km.

Milky Way Over Space Surveillance Refractive Telescope Housing

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III/ Airman Magazine

The Milky Way seen over the housing of one of the Air Force's two 1.2 meter refractive telescopes at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex. The MSSS provides an unequaled opportunity to the Air Force's scientific community by combining state-of-the-art satellite tracking with a facility supporting research and development.

Old Tree Points at the Milky Way

Shenandoah Sanchez

Photographer Shenandoah Sanchez sent in a photo of the Milky Way taken along the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park, VA. The tree was light-painted with a flashlight. Image submitted Nov. 6, 2013.

Milky Way over Lake Superior

Shawn Malone

Skywatcher Shawn Malone sent in this photo of the Milky Way taken during the weekend of April 28-29, 2012, from the shore of Lake Superior. She writes: "The Milky Way was eye poppingly bright."

Milky Way Glows Over Hawaiʻi's Halemaʻumaʻu Crater

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. [Read the Story Behind the Photo Here]

ESO Alma Telescopes and the Milky Way

ESO/José Francisco Salgado

Four of the European Southern Observatory's Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) antennas gaze up at the night sky. Milky Way is visible at left.

The Milky Way over the 1.54-Meter Danish Telescope at La Silla

ESO/Z. Bardon/ProjectSoft

The Milky Way shines over the 1.54-meter Danish telescope at La Silla, Chile.

Echinopsis Atacamensis and the Milky Way

ESO/S. Guisard

The Milky Way is seen in all its glory, as well as, in the lower right, the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Before the Meteor Rush

Tamas Ladanyi (www.astrophoto.hu)

This bright Perseid meteor streaking through skies near Lake Balaton, Hungary on August 8, 2010, served as advance guard for the meteor shower that was scheduled to peak a few days later. In the foreground stands the region's Church of St. Andrew ruin, with bright Jupiter dominating the sky to its right. Two galaxies lie in the background: our own Milky Way, and the faint smudge of the more distant Andromeda Galaxy just above the ruin's leftmost wall.

3,000 Images Combine for Stunning Milky Way Portrait

Dr. Axel Mellinger

Axel Mellinger, of Central Michigan University, created this panorama of the Milky Way from 3,000 individual photographs that he melded together with mathematical models.

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