Galactic Dark Horse


Image Credit & Copyright: Kevin Shearer.

Every now and then we’re reminded of how fragile life is and 36 years ago on this date in 1980, Mount St. Helens, captured here in this great image by Kevin Shearer, grabbed the world’s attention and devastated a vast portion of the northwest and sent ash clouds around the Earth. In this image the cold darkness of space is broken by the light of a hundred billion suns. Below is the legendary mountain as seen from the Elk Rock Viewpoint, just 96 miles south of Seattle and 50 miles northeast of Portland Oregon sits as a testament to the fragile grounds on which we reside.

A couple things about this image that jump out at me; one is the viewpoint. This image is shot fairly tight which is actually great because you get some scale as the Milky Way looks wide and vast as it should against the Cascade Mountains. Normally you see open Milky Way shots which are incredible and beautiful as well of course, but sometimes these tighter images of sections of the galaxy against a background just give you a different feel. Photography really is artistic in nature, it’s great.

The second aspect that I want to point out to you is, well, the name of this image; the Milky Way’s “Dark Horse” which is just slightly right of center in this image. It’s called that because this thing looks more like an actual horse than any of the constellations actually look like their namesakes. It doesn’t take too much imagination to see the horse’s body, head and legs, one of its front legs are actually up in a walking position, pretty awesome.

KDS Photography:



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