The crisp water and clear sky over Popham Beach State Park in Maine show our host galaxy in a stunning panorama.
Astrophotographer A. Garrett Evans took this image the morning of April 18 as a nine-shot panorama. He used a Canon 6D with Canon 16-35 mm on a Nodal Ninja panning head, camera settings were ISO 4000, f/2.8, 30 seconds each.
"The galactic core of the Milky Way was in a very dark area of sky and allowed for great photographs. I really liked the star reflections in the wet sand and the green air glow in the sky. The curve of the beach really seemed to balance the foreground with the sky well," Evans wrote in an email to Space.com.[See more amazing photos of the Milky Way Galaxy]
Managing to capture a balance between the tidal areas with the glittering Milky Way required a bit of resourcefulness.
“The beach is very large and can be difficult to navigate at night because of all the tide pools and the river draining out across the beach. I first followed the shore line West and soon realized that I had to retrace my steps back up at least a half-mile because of the large tidal area that was to deep to cross to get out to where waves that were breaking on the shore line,” Evans wrote.
The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy spanning between 100,000 to 120,000 light-years in diameter. Roughly 400 billion stars populate the galaxy. 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, you can send images and comments in to Space.com at firstname.lastname@example.org.