The warm glow from Tuscon, Ariz. paints the night sky in these two beautiful images taken by astrophotographer B.G. Boyd.
The first photo shows the Big Dipper over a bridge not far from Tuscon. For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, spotting the Big Dipper is a simple and satisfying stargazing target to spot, even for a novice skywatcher: The seven bright stars that make up the well-known, celestial pattern are easily seen if one looks high toward the northwest sky. The Big Dipper, also known as the Plough, never sinks below the horizon for anyone at the latitude of New York (41 degrees north) or all points northward.
The second image is a beautiful shot featuring our host galaxy, the Milky Way.
The Milky Way galaxy comprises roughly 400 billion stars, as well as gas and dust and stretches between 100,000 to 120,000 light-years in diameter. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers). From Earth, this barred spiral galaxy appears like a band of light in the night sky. Boyd sent both images to SPACE.com on July 28.
To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by SPACE.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.