Milky Way Glows Over Maine Beach in Stunning Photo

Popham Beach Panorama Evans
Astrophotographer A. Garrett Evans took this image of the Milky Way over Popham Beach State Park in Maine the morning of April 18, 2015 as a 9-shot panorama. (Image credit: A. Garrett Evans)

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[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).

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for She began writing and producing content for 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.