May 31, 2023

NASA Spotlight: Milky Way in Night Sky is an astronomical picture of the day

Featured image on the site today’s picture This Wednesday (10) shows the beauty of the night sky in Egypt’s White Desert National Park. The local landscape contains formations sculpted by wind-blown sand, and it was even more remarkable with the central band of the Milky Way in the sky.

You will see an incredible wealth of detail in the image, and not without reason. The image is the result of several exposures taken over the course of three days, always in the same spot and with the same camera.

Thus, it was possible to capture the scene below:

On the left side of the image, the highlight is the brightness of the hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way. If you have a telescope or even a pair of binoculars on hand, you can observe some of them in more detail.

The colored hues in the upper right corner of the image belong to the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex. It is a group of interstellar clouds with different nebulae. Some of them are of the dark type, that is, they are so dense that they do not allow light to pass through.

Learn more about the Milky Way

This image brings a breathtaking scene, which is even more amazing with the brightness of the Milky Way. Observing it in the sky is like seeing part of a galactic structure about 13.6 billion years old, made up of long spiral arms.

Just as the Earth revolves around the Sun, the Solar System revolves around the center of the Milky Way at an astonishing 828,000 km/h. Even at that speed, it takes our system about 250 million years to complete one loop around the center of the galaxy.

Since we’re talking about the center, it’s worth noting that it’s home to Sagittarius A*, a black hole with four million solar masses. The first image of it, taken by the Event Horizon Project telescopes, will be revealed in 2022.

source: APOD