The view doesn’t get any wider than this. This fish-eye image takes in the entire night sky and summer Milky Way.
I shot this last weekend at the Saskatchewan Summer Star Party in Cypress Hills. Red lights of observers streak along the horizon around the perimeter of the circular image. At centre is the zenith, the point in the sky straight overhead.
The sky was very dark, but the sky close to the horizon is tinted with the faint glows of aurora and airglow.
The Milky Way is the main feature of the summer sky, here stretching from Sagittarius in the south at bottom to Perseus at top in the north. Wide shots like this really put the giant lanes of dust into proper context; you can see their full structure and faint tendrils extending well off the Milky Way band.
For these fish-eye shots (suitable for projection in a planetarium) I used a Sigma 8mm fish-eye lens and a full-frame Canon 5D MkII camera. This is a stack of five 5-minute exposures, all tracked. The landscape is from just one of the images, to minimize blurring of the ground.
— Alan, August 23, 2012 / © 2012 Alan Dyer