The Rise of the Milky Way

By Phil Plait | May 19, 2009 4:53 pm

This video of the Milky Way rising at the Texas Star Party is making the rounds. It’s quite lovely.

I’ve been getting emails and such asking if it’s faked. I don’t think so. It’s clearly an animation made of many several-seconds-long exposures, so that each frame sees the relatively faint Milky Way. I’ve never been to the TSP (I would love to go, but I always wind up having some other thing to do at that time) but I’ve heard it’s extraordinarily dark… some newbies even pack up to go home around 2:00 because they think the rising Milky Way is an approaching thunderstorm!

I’d dearly love to see that.

The best thing about this video is how clear it is that we live in the disk of a spiral galaxy. Compare what’s in that video to pictures of NGC 4013, NGC 4565 or NGC 891 to see what I mean. We live in a galaxy. That’s a profound statement, and the evidence is literally right there above our heads.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff

Comments are closed.


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


See More

Collapse bottom bar