The Milky Way Galaxy

Milky Way by John Gleason
Milky Way Image by John Gleason, as presented in the Astronomy Picture of the Day (February 24th, 1999).

A panoramic view between the northern and southern crosses. The red patch at the left is the North American Nebula, near the tail of Cygnus the Swan, or Northern Cross. The faint circle of the Veil Nebula can just be made out to the lower left. At center is the region near the tail of Aquila the Eagle. To the right (farther south) is the bright Scutum starfield, followed by the center of the Milky Way galaxy in the Sagittarius-Scorpius region. Finally, at far right is the small dark patch of the Coalsack in Crux, the Southern Cross.

The View from Within

The visa shown above was taken from the interior of the galaxy, from a point lying close to the central plane of symmetry and near the inner edge of one of the spiral arms. If your view of the Milky Way looks similar to this, then you can be assured that our sponsoring organization, the Sommers-Bausch Observatory, is somewhere nearby.

We had originally hoped to include an image from above the central bulge, looking down on the full galactic structure - or perhaps an interesting closeup of the central black hole - but minor technical difficulties have made that impossible for the time being.

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