The Milky Way is the Galaxy in which we live...looks like spilt milk. It is a spiral shaped galaxy that contains about 200 billion stars, including our Sun. It is about 100,000 light-years across and about 10,000 light-years thick. So why is the Milky Way so hard to see?
Back in the day of Galileo, the Milky Way used to be visible on every clear, moonless night, everywhere on Earth. Today, however, most people in the U.S. live where it's impossible to see the Milky Way because of widespread light pollution caused by lights left on all night long. To see the Milky Way requires effort and some crystal clear nights.
Meet Evansville photographer, Tom Barrows of Evansville, who captured some excellent pics of our galaxy. Incredibly, in one of the pics, Tom photographed a meteor.
From Tom Barrows: The cooler weather pattern with less humidity really helped. It's also hard finding anywhere in or near Evansville to get a good view with all the light pollution. Two of these shots are from Caborn Road. The barn is backlit by lights from Mt. Vernon but the Milky Way is easily viewed in the dark space to the East (left). I lit the barn with a flashlight. In one frame, a rather bright meteor was captured and in another, a few clouds are beginning to pass through.
The other images are from across the Wabash in Southern Illinois on the road towards Carmi. The light flares at the bottom are oil wells burning off excess gas. This is the best view I have seen of it yet. If the weather holds, we are going to try to do a time lapse, and also visit Shawnee NF to see if it gets even better.