Firefly Milky Way over Russia

APOD: 2021 September 6 - Firefly Milky Way over Russia

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2021 September 6
The picture shows an arching Milky Way Galaxy with a firefly 
path in the foreground over Russia.
Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

Firefly Milky Way over Russia
Image Credit & Copyright: Anton Komlev

Explanation: It started with a pine tree. The idea was to photograph a statuesque pine in front of the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. And the plan, carried out two months ago, was successful -- they both appear prominently. But the resulting 3-frame panorama captured much more. Colorful stars, for example, dot the distant background, with bright Altair visible on the upper left. The planet Saturn, a bit closer, was captured just over the horizon on the far left. Just beyond the Earth's atmosphere, seen in the upper right, an Earth-orbiting satellite was caught leaving a streak during the 25-second exposure. The Earth's atmosphere itself was surprisingly visible -- as green airglow across the image top. Finally, just by chance, there was a firefly. Do you see it? Near the image bottom, the firefly blinked in yellow several times as it fluttered before the rolling hills above Milogradovka River in Primorsky Krai, Russia.

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