This was the scene from my rural backyard on Tuesday night, September 20, with the Milky Way at its best across the sky.
September usually brings the best nights of the year for dark-sky observing and shooting the Milky Way. Nights are clear, dry, and transparent. The Milky Way stretches across the sky from southwest to northeast in the early evening.
Under clear skies on Tuesday the dark lanes and structure of the Milky Way really stood out, both to the eye and to the camera. Image processing for contrast does bring out the dust lanes, including the subtle patches off the main Milky Way band.
The centre of the image contains the three bright stars of the Summer Triangle. They frame the bright Cygnus starclouds and glowing red nebulas that mark the spiral arm that we live in. Above, at top left in the image, is a bluer section of the Milky Way formed by the more distant Perseus spiral arm, the one further out from us in the Galaxy.
I took this shot with the Canon 5D MkII and Canon 15mm lens, for a stack of five 6-minute exposures at f/4 and ISO 800.
— Alan, September 21, 2011 / Image © 2011 Alan Dyer