Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Ver Sprill.
Here’s a great image of the Milky Way galaxy passing across the South Dakota night near Badlands National Park. You may notice that, in this image that although the galactic nucleus is fairly bright, it’s still shrouded by a thick band of material that stretches the length of its plane.
Also, look near the horizon just above the hilltops and to the right of the Milky Way. There you see a red star standing out from the rest. That’s Antares, the “Heart of the Scorpion” about 600 light years away and the details of this star are just astounding. The Sun, for example, has a diameter of about 865,000 miles which is enormous, don’t get me wrong. Antares however, has a diameter of about 372 million miles which makes our Sun look microscopic in comparison. Let’s look at this from another angle. If you replaced the Sun with Antares, with a diameter of more than 6 AU (AU = Average distance between Sun & Earth) it would completely swallow up the orbit of Mars! As odd as that sounds, the more we look around at other star systems Jupiter would seem to look more at home much closer to the Sun than where it is anyway.
I hope you all enjoy this great image and check out more of Mike’s work!
Mike Ver Sprill Photography: http://milkywaymike.com/