Electric Blue Isles Glow Under Dazzling Milky Way (Photo)

Milky Way and Bioluminescence in Maine
The electric blue strip around the small isles in this image shows bioluminescence under the dazzling Milky Way in Maine. Astrophotographer Adam Woodworth took this image at the cliffs of Acadia National Park in Maine on August 17th, 2015. (Image credit: Adam Woodworth | Adam Woodworth Photography)

The electric blue light around the edges of the small isles in this image are bioluminescence, radiating under the dazzling Milky Way in Maine.

Astrophotographer Adam Woodworth took this image at the cliffs of Acadia National Park in Maine on Aug. 17, 2015.

This is a blend of 10 exposures for the sky and 2 foreground exposures.  The exposures were then blended in Photoshop to create a single image. All shots were taken with the Nikon D810A camera, and a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at 14mm.

"While the glow in the photo is brighter and much more blue than it was in person due to the limitations of human vision in the dark, and the fact that that [the] camera can see more with long exposures, it was still intense to see in person and the photo doesn’t do the experience justice," Woodworth wrote in an email to Space.com.

Earth's host galaxy, the Milky Way, is a barred spiral galaxy seen as a band of light in the night sky. It stretches between 100,000 and 120,000 light-years in diameter. It is estimated that the galaxy has approximately 400 billion stars. At the center of the galaxy lies a gigantic black hole billions of times the size of the sun. [See more amazing photos of our Milky Way Galaxy]

Bioluminescence is caused by microorganisms that produce and emit light.

"The blue light is real, and is just about how my camera captured it, I didn’t do anything to boost the blue. My night vision was adapted enough to see the bright glow in the water as the waves washed over rocks, exciting the dinoflagellates in the water," he added.

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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.