Astrophotographer Manish Mamtani saw his first Milky Way on a spring trip to Utah four years ago. Since then, he's traveled to the state every year to capture the beauty of the night sky.
Mamtani took this image of the Milky Way in April 2016 from Arches National Park in Utah. The park is a hub for astrophotographers because the area is relatively dark and unaffected by light pollution .
"I got an image of Milky way arch rising over Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park that I have been dreaming about from past couple of years but couldn't get due to bad weather," Mamtani wrote in an email to Space.com.
The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy, meaning multiple "arms" sprout from a central region and then swirl around it, like streams of water spiraling down a drain. It stretches between 100,000 and 120,000 light-years in diameter. Scientists estimate that the galaxy has approximately 400 billion stars. At the center of our galaxy lies a gigantic black hole billions of times the size of the sun. [How to Photograph the Milky Way in Light Pollution (Photos )]
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