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 the Earth and the night sky. Join Claro here as he takes us through his photograph "Milky Way in Motion Rising Over Noudar Park."
When observed in the darkest of skies, the Milky Way galaxy can glitter and gleam with all the colors of the rainbow. This view, captured from the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve in Portugal, showcases many features of the night sky that are invisible to much of the world due to light pollution.
Many people may take time to enjoy the night sky only once a year or even once in a lifetime. Unfortunately, artificial lights from cities can hinder the experience, hiding hundreds of stars and the beautiful Milky Way galaxy.
To make the most of your stargazing endeavors, try moving as far away from city lights as possible. The greater your distance from sources of light pollution, the more you'll see the sky light up with countless stars, galaxies, nebulas and other cosmic entities. This is especially important if you're planning to see a meteor shower, as your chances of catching a "falling star" are much higher when no light can drown out the fainter trails.
With or without a meteor shower, relaxing under a starry sky can be an unforgettable experience. The short time-lapse video above gives you a taste of what it's like to see the cosmos in all its starry glory, but it's nothing compared to experiencing the darkness in person.
The video features the Milky Way rising over an olive tree near a countryside hotel in the Nature Park of Noudar, which is located in Portugal's Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve. This is one of the best places in Europe to spend your vacations under the stars.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share with us and our news partners for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.