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Mauna Kea Milky Way Panorama

By: Wally Pacholka

 

Region: Americas

Site: Mauna Kea-Hawaii - USA

Date: January 2009

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As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day the dreamlike panoramic view looks out from the 4,200 meter volcanic summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, across a layer of clouds toward a starry night sky and the rising Milky Way. Anchoring the scene on the far left is the dome of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), with north star Polaris shining beyond the dome to the right. Farther right, headed by bright star Deneb, the Northern Cross asterism is embedded along the plane of the Milky Way as it peeks above the horizon. Both Northern Cross and brilliant white Vega hang over a foreground grouping of cinder cones. Near the center are the reddish nebulae, stars and dust clouds of the central Milky Way. Below, illumination from the city lights of Hilo creates an eerie, greenish glow in the clouds. Red supergiant star Antares shines above the Milky Way's central bulge while bright Alpha Centauri lies still farther right, along the dusty galactic plane. Finally, at the far right is the large Gemini North Observatory. The compact group of stars known as the Southern Cross is just left of the telescope dome. If you need some help identifying the stars, click on the little black constellation icon above the image. Wally Pacholka/Astropics.com

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