2017 November 25
Image Credit &
Follow this vertical panoramic view from horizon to horizon and
your gaze will sweep through the zenith of a dark night sky over
Pic du Midi mountaintop observatory.
To make the journey above a sea of clouds,
19 single exposures were taken near the end
of night on October 31 and assembled in a mercator projection
that renders the two horizons flat.
Begin at the top and you're looking east toward the upsidedown dome of
the observatory's 1 meter telescope.
It's easy to follow the plane of
our Milky Way galaxy as it
appears to emerge from the dome and angle down toward the far horizon.
Just to its right, the sky holds a remarkable diffuse glow of zodiacal
light along our Solar System's ecliptic plane.
and Milky Way with star clusters, cosmic dust clouds
and faint nebulae, cross near the zenith.
Both continue down toward the airglow in the west.
They disappear near the western horizon at the bottom, beyond
more Pic du Midi observatory domes and a tall communications relay antenna.