Wow! Night Sky Explodes with Meteors, Aurora and the Milky Way (Photo)

Milky Way and Meteors by Yadavalli
This image of the Milky Way was captured by astrophotographer Raghu Yadavalli in Banff National Park, Alberta in September 2016. (Image credit: Raghu Yadavalli)

This skywatcher image is one of those lucky moments when the night sky explodes with activity.  The image was captured by astrophotographer Raghu Yadavalli during one clear night in the Canadian Rockies from the famous "Morant's Curve" on the bow valley parkway in Banff National Park, Alberta last month.

"On this clear moonless night, I witnessed many meteors; couple of them are captured in this photo," Yadavalli wrote in an email to

The Milky Way, our own galaxy containing the solar system, 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 when seen from Earth. The galaxy stretches between 100,000 to 120,000 light-years in diameter. The flare to the left of the galactic core is from an Iridium satellite .

"Just a few minutes after taking this pic, the skies exploded with aurora with hues of purple, red and green color displays and this effect could be seen as a tinge of purple color visible in this photo.  The green color to the left is the air glow and the light emanating in the west is from the east bound Canadian pacific train," Yadavalli added. 

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

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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.