The process of taking photos of a certain thing can be an inspiration on its own. However, the end result may be too splendid to be expressed through the use of mere words. This could be the reason why some photographers tend to express their thoughts and emotions through the use of images. It is almost impossible to meet a photographer who is not fascinated with the great excitement found up in the night sky. There is something mesmerizing when one gazes upon objects whose age is in the range of billions of years. What’s more, those objects are several light years away from the earth, yet photographers feel very close to them, especially when looked at through the sharp eye of the lens. {NOTE TO DEVELOPER: Kindly link “Why I love photographing The Milky Way and you should too!” to the article “Beginner? Look what to look for in the night’s sky”}

How to Photograph the Milky Way in 2 Minutes

While the physical distance between us on earth seems, sometimes, insurmountable, we happen to be content once we stand outside at night, and gaze upon the beauty of the skies through the assistance of a camera or even a simple telescope. Apart from the fascination that we hold dear after viewing the skies, the human race has been relying on the breath-taking photos, shared along with expert knowledge, taken of space by amateur and professional astronomers alike.

However, it is not okay to leave astronomers to enjoy full-time fun of the galaxy. With a wide collection of sophisticated digital cameras that can give us the technical ability to access the universe and take photos from the comfort of our homes, anybody – and I mean anybody – can take advantage of what space, both deep and near, can show us. The easiest and most impressive astronomical objects to capture is of course the Milky Way Galaxy.

Camera setup for astrophotogprahy
Camera setup for astrophotogprahy

Photographing is more than just an interesting activity today. It has morphed into its own art form. The Milky Way Galaxy that spins over our heads while we sleep in the northern hemisphere has a diameter of close to 185,000 light years! The birthplace of humanity, the Earth, is part of the Milky Way, with our own Solar System located just over 27,500 light years from the Galactic Center, on the inside of the renowned spiral-shaped Orion Arm. Within the galaxy, you will surely find additional pieces of stellar information that will inspire and impress you. These, together with the interesting facts discussed below, are certain to awaken your interest in photographing the Milky Way.

The way it warped

A starter might want to know that the Milky Way is a disc that is located almost 120,000 light years away, and it has a central bulge with a diameter of roughly one tenth of that distance.

The Milky Way is a spiral disc that contains over 200 billion stars
The Milky Way is a spiral disc that contains over 200 billion stars

The disc is not flat as one may assume. As a matter of fact, it has a warped shape, and astronomers attribute this to the two bodies that neighbor the galaxy the small and large Magellan Clouds. The two dwarf galaxies, which form part of the local amalgamation of galaxies and orbit the Milky Way, are said to be pulling the black matter in the galaxy in which we live. This push-pull appears like a tug-of-war when viewed through a telescope. It is such an amazing sight to behold.

The galaxy has a halo but you may not see it accurately. There is a general belief among scientists that over 90% of our galaxy is made up of dark matter which results in an enigmatic ‘halo’. What this really means is that the entire luminous matter, visible even with the naked eye, but better with the help of a telescope, comprises of slightly less than 9.9% of the entire mass of the amazing Milky Way. This halo is not the conventional radiant sort that we tend to imagine when we picture various angels and observing other heavenly bodies. In such a case, it is interesting to struggle to visualize the halo even though its visibility may be slightly obscured by the running simulations of the Milky Way.

Moreover, the high speed of the stars as they race away from each other is a mind-boggling concept to keep in mind as you take photos. The faster the speed, the more interesting the photography. The speed of the galaxy is determined by the weight of the galaxy. If you try to imagine that the galaxy has less matter than what you actually see with your telescope, the rate of rotation would be less than what you see. In order to be able to see more of the dark matter of the Milky Way galaxy, the services of The Via Lactea Project are well-worth taking advantage of.

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