Framed by Trees: A Window to the Galaxy

APOD: 2021 July 19 - Framed by Trees: A Window to the Galaxy

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 July 19
The picture shows part of the band of our Milky Way Galaxy
as seen through a ring of trees. 
Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

Framed by Trees: A Window to the Galaxy
Image Credit & Copyright: Will Godward

Explanation: The photographer had this shot in mind for some time. He knew that objects overhead are the brightest -- since their light is scattered the least by atmospheric air. He also that knew the core of our Milky Way Galaxy was just about straight up near midnight around this time of year in South Australia. Chasing his mental picture, he ventured deep inside the Kuipto Forest where tall radiata pines blocked out much of the sky -- but not in this clearing. There, through a window framed by trees, he captured his envisioned combination of local and distant nature. Sixteen exposures of both trees and the Milky Way Galaxy were recorded. Antares is the bright orange star to left of our Galaxy's central plane, while Alpha Centauri is the bright star just to the right of the image center. The direction toward our Galaxy's center is below Antares. Although in a few hours the Earth's rotation moved the Galactic plane up and to the left -- soon invisible behind the timber, his mental image was secured forever -- and is featured here.

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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