Got Milky Way? Cows Surprise Skywatcher During Night Sky Photo Shoot

Milky Way and New Hampshire Cows
Skywatcher Stephen Ippolito captured this image of the Milky Way over some friendly cows was taken in New Hampshire on Sept. 11, 2015. (Image credit: Stephen Ippolito)

While photographing the night sky, one photographer got quite a scare from an odd noise in the dark distance.

"I thought the sound could have been a moose running our way," astrophotographer Stephen Ippolito told in an email. "Low and behold there were about 5-6 cows that came running towards us when they heard us talking to each other (I never knew cows could run that fast), I think they wanted our company or perhaps more likely food. Luckily the barbed-wired fence was there as they stopped right at the fence."

This image of the Milky Way over some friendly cows was taken in New Hampshire on Sept. 11. [See more amazing photos of our Milky Way Galaxy]

"In order to get this shot I had to focus stack 2 images, one in order to try to get the cows in focus and another focused at infinity to try to get the Milky Way in the sky," Ippolito added.

The Milky Way, our own galaxy containing the solar syatem is a barred spiral galaxy with roughly 400 billion stars. The stars, along with gas and dust, appear like a band of light in the sky from Earth. The galaxy stretches between 100,000 to 120,000 light-years in diameter.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share with and its news partners for a possible story or image gallery, send comments and images in to managing editor Tariq Malik at

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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.