The summer Milky Way sets behind the peaks of Waterton Lakes National Park, signalling an end to summer.
This was the scene last Saturday night, on a perfect summer night in the Rockies. The glorious starfields of the summer Milky Way are setting behind the mountains.
The Small Sagittarius Starcloud is just above the mountain ridge while above it are the red patches of the Swan and Eagle Nebulas.
Farther up the Milky Way, stars brighten into another starcloud, the Scutum cloud, flanked by two dark lanes of dust. Above it shine the stars of Aquila, Ophiuchus, Lyra, and southern Cygnus. The two bright stars are Altair (below) and Vega (top right).
This is an alternative view of the same scene, with the camera in “landscape” orientation.
I took both from a pull-off on the Red Rock Canyon road in Waterton. Each image is a stack of four 3-minute exposures, each tracking the stars with the camera on an iOptron SkyTracker.
The Milky Way from Canada just doesn’t get any clearer or the skies any darker.
– Alan, September 3, 2013 / © 2013 Alan Dyer