Dazzling Milky Way Rises Over Maine Lighthouse in Stunning Panorama (Photo)

Milky Way Rises Over Lighthouse by A. Garrett Evans
A. Garrett Evans sent Space.com this 9-shot panorama of the Milky Way rising over Cape Neddick Lighthouse in York, Maine on March 3, 2014. The photo covers nearly 180 degrees and was taken with a Canon 6D camera, Canon 16-35mm @ 16mm, ISO 4000, f/2.8, 30 sec. (Image credit: A. Garrett Evans | www.facebook.com/AGEvansPhotography)

The arc of the Milky Way dazzles over Cape Neddick Lighthouse in this spectacular nine-image panorama recently sent to Space.com.

Veteran astrophotographer A. Garrett Evans of central New Hampshire endured the bitter cold of York, Maine, on March 3 to take this stunning panorama.

"The temperature was in the single digits all night, but that did not keep us from staying out to capture this beautiful scene," Evans wrote Space.com in an email. [Stargazing Photos: April's Night Sky Revealed]

Evans' covers nearly 180 degrees and was taken with a Canon 6D camera, Canon 16-35mm @ 16mm, ISO 4000, f/2.8, 30 sec.

Give Me Some Space 24"x36" Posters. Buy Here (Image credit: Space.com Store)

Venus can be seen in the image toward the left, just below the core. The planet's reflection also appears in the ocean. Light pollution from York and other towns appears on each edge of the frame. Boon Island Lighthouse, about 7 miles (11 kilometers) offshore, is a small speck just to the left of Venus on the horizon. Lights from a few large ships can also be seen below the core of the Milky Way and off to the south into the light pollution, according to Evans.

Our host galaxy, the Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy spanning between 100,000 to 120,000 light-years in diameter. It comprises gas, dust and roughly 400 billion stars. The dazzling band we see from Earth is the center portion of the galaxy where a gigantic black hole billions of times the size of the sun resides. 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.

Follow Space.com on Twitter @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook & Google+. Original article on Space.com.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for Space.com. She began writing and producing content for Space.com in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.