Image Credit & Copyright: Mark Gee. CLICK image for larger view and look below for information and links.
This image comes from the 2013 Royal Observatory Greenwich Earth & Space Photographer of the Year 2013; Mark Gee. This image was captured on the North Island of New Zealand at the Cape Palliser Lighthouse. This incredible panorama seems to show the Milky Way almost emerging from the lighthouse at it arcs across the southern sky with its thick dust bands shrouding the light at its heart 26,000 light years away. At image left you can see the gems of the southern hemisphere; the Large & Small Magellanic Clouds 160,000 & 200,000 light years away (roughly) which are satellite galaxies to our own Milky Way.
The image is a pre-dawn near twilight image comprised of 20-30 second exposures that were carefully stitched together to create the vast panorama for us to admire. Look below for Mark’s links to check out more of his incredible images.
Mark Gee Photography: http://markg.com.au/
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+MarkGee
Royal Observatory Greenwich 2013 Earth & Space Photographer of the Year: http://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/astronomy-photographer-of-the-year/2013-winners/earth-and-space