Milky Way from Haleakala Crater, Maui   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

It is not usually possible to see the Milky Way when there is a bright Moon, because the Moon lights up the sky.  It is possible, however, if you get above much of the Earth’s atmosphere.  This image with both the Moon and the Milky Way easily visible was taken from an elevation of about 10,000 feet at the top of Hawaii’s Haleakala crater, a dormant volcano.  At that high elevation, the air is thin, the sky is dark, and stars can be seen all the way down to the horizon.  The bright object to the upper left of the Moon is Jupiter.

Some of the constellations visible in this image are Sagittarius  (near the brightest part of the Milky Way at the top of the image), Corona Australis (the C-shaped group of stars below Sagittarius), and Scorpius (in the center and stretching toward the Moon).  In Hawaii, this constellation is known as the “fishhook of Maui,” and it does resemble a fishhook just as much as a scorpion.

Image details:  30-second exposure at ISO 1600 with a Canon 400D (EOS Rebel) camera and 18-mm lens, on a stationary tripod.

August 2007