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The Milky Way and Andromeda Loom Over a Dutch Sailboat in a Breathtaking Vertical Panorama

Miguel Claro is a professional photographer, author and science communicator based in Lisbon, Portugal, who creates spectacular images of the night sky. As a European Southern Observatory photo ambassador, a member of The World At Night and the official astrophotographer of the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve, he specializes in astronomical skyscapes that connect Earth and the night sky. Join Miguel here as he takes us through his photograph "Milky Way, Andromeda and a Dutch Sailboat."

A vertical panorama of the night sky reveals a colorful sea of stars glistening above an old Dutch sailboat in Portugal's Lake Alqueva. From the dusty core of the Milky Way all the way down to the orange airglow that lights up the horizon behind the vessel, there's a lot to see in this unique image, so scroll down and enjoy the view!

Visible below two galaxies, our Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy, is an old Dutch Westlander sailboat named Sem Fim. Thus vertical panorama was captured from the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve in Portugal. (Image credit: Miguel Claro)

Above the boat, you can see two galaxies — our great Milky Way, which stretches across the frame, and the diffuse elliptical shape of the Andromeda galaxy, one of the Milky Way's galactic neighbors. Andromeda appears as a small smudge in the image, located about halfway between the Milky Way and the boat. [Andromeda Galaxy Photos: Amazing Pictures of M31]

The sailboat in this image, named Sem Fim, is a Westlander sailboat built in 1913 in Holland. This type of boat was used in the Dutch channels for the transport of goods, among them flowers. It was later transformed into houseboat and brought to Portugal. Now Sem Fim only navigates in Alqueva lake, giving tourists the experience of sailing on board a vintage boat. 

The image was captured under a starry sky during the XII edition of Dark Sky Party Alqueva, a public event held annually in the village of Campinho in Portugal's Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve. 

To capture this vertical panorama, I used a Canon EOS 6D DSLR camera to capture a 20-second exposure with the ISO set to 2500 and with a 24-millimeter lens, set to f/2.8.

Editor's note: If you captured an amazing astronomy photo and would like to share it with for a story or gallery, send images and comments to managing editor Tariq Malik at

To see more of Claro's amazing astrophotography, visit his website, Follow us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. Original article on

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