On a tranquil Hawaii vacation, astrophotographer Mike Beck took a chance road trip — where he captured this image of the glimmering orange night sky.
"Lucky enough to be in Hawaii where I rented a car and drove up to the Ellison Onizuka Astronomy Center [June 28] at Mauna Kea and I was richly rewarded," Beck wrote in an email to Space.com.
The Milky Way, the galaxy containing our own solar system , is a barred spiral galaxy with roughly 400 billion stars. The stars, along with gas and dust, appear as a band of light in the sky when seen from Earth. The galaxy stretches between 100,000 to 120,000 light-years in diameter.
The Onizuka astronomy center is located atop the dormant volcano Mauna Kea, on Hawaii island.
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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.