Sunday, July 30, 2017

MILKY WAY - The Milky Way over Monument Valley

The Milky Way over Monument Valley:

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.

2017 July 26


See Explanation. Moving the cursor over the image will bring up an annotated version. Clicking on the image will bring up the highest resolution version available.
Explanation: You don't have to be at Monument Valley to see the Milky Way arc across the sky like this -- but it helps. Only at Monument Valley USA would you see a picturesque foreground that includes these iconic rock peaks called buttes. Buttes are composed of hard rock left behind after water has eroded away the surrounding soft rock. In the featured image taken a month ago, the closest butte on the left and the butte to its right are known as the Mittens, while Merrick Butte can be seen farther to the right. Green airglow fans up from the horizon. High overhead stretches a band of diffuse light that is the central disk of our spiral Milky Way Galaxy. The band of the Milky Way can be spotted by almost anyone on almost any clear night when far enough from a city and surrounding bright lights, but a sensitive digital camera is needed to capture these colors in a dark night sky.