The Milky Way

MilkyWay20mm(400).jpg (76903 bytes)

The Milky Way is a truly awesome sight from the southern hemisphere.  This image covers the region from Aquila in the lower left to Centaurus in the upper right.  This image was taken as the center of the Milky Way reached the zenith, with its spiral arms spanning 180 degrees of the sky from Cygnus to Carina.  At the center of this image is Mars, blazing at magnitude -2.3.  In a remarkable coincidence, when this exposure was taken Mars happened to be at the greatest apparent diameter of its 2001 apparition at 20.8 arcseconds.  Even though I was about to see a total solar eclipse just hours later, I have to say that the central Milky Way spanning the entire sky was the most awesome celestial sight I've ever seen.

Instrument:   Nikon 20mm/2.8 lens, piggybacked on Vixen 102-ED on a Great Polaris mount
  30 minutes
  June 20, 2001
  Chisamba, Zambia
Technical Notes:
  Astigmatism from the lens is apparent at the corners of the image.

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