Image Credit & Copyright: Ali Matinfar.
Milky Way season will soon be upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere so plan ahead and scout for open southern horizons to catch your best glimpse of the galactic core. May through August are the absolute peak months for Milky Way viewing but that’s if you have dark enough skies to take in one of the universes greatest nightly shows.
This image comes to us from the amazing night sky photographer, Ali Matinfar and it was captured while observing the night sky in the Mesr Desert, Iran. In this image he captures the heart of the Milky Way which is largely comprised of Scorpius and Sagittarius. In fact, the large orange star in the image is the red supergiant Antares, the heart of the scorpion. With a diameter of over 700 million miles at 550 light years away its one of the largest stars known. Now compare that to the nearly 900,000 mile diameter Sun that we consider mind-blowingly (is that a word?) huge. If you removed the Sun and replaced it with Antares, it would be so big that it would swallow the orbit of Mars and much of the main asteroid belt and just as you could squeeze 1.3 million Earths into the Sun, you could squeeze about 500 million Suns into Antares!
Take those facts with you into this year’s Milky Way season and enjoy the night. If you enjoyed this image please check out more of Ali’s work!