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The Milky Way and the center of our galaxy shines brightly over Mount Sneffels in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. The green sky background is from strong airglow (made from solar UV light exciting molecules in our atmosphere during the day) and creates the green and some red bands of light. The "teapot" is 8 stars above and to the left of Mt Sneffels and the brightest part of the galaxy appears like steam coming out of the spout of the teapot. Above the bright center of the galaxy is a bright spot: the Lagoon Nebula Messier 8. Many other nebulae and star clusters show in the image. The reddish brown color in the galaxy is due to absorption of blue light by dust. Many "dark nebula" are areas of very thick dust that obscures viewing more distant stars. For more on natural color in the night sky see Parts 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d on Color of the Night Sky and proper post processing to show those colors.
Technical. Canon 1D Mark IV 16 megapixel digital camera, 100 mm f/2 lens at f 2, ISO 1600. This is a 21 frame mosaic: 1 minute exposures on the sky with tracking, and 2 minute exposures on the landscape, no tracking. The final mosaic is 8947 pixels wide by 10439 pixels high (93.4 megapixels).
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Keywords to this image = astrophoto-1 nightscapes landscape-1 mountains san-juan-mtns colorado large_format mosaic night low-light digital_astro canon_1d4
Image ID: sagittarius.over.mt.sneffels-c06.08.2013.C45I3080-3103.k-1000v.jpg
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Last updated February 18, 2019