Glenn Chaple's Observing Basics: Cruise the Milky Way
September 2009: Get out to a dark-sky site to observe the wonder of our home galaxy.
July 27, 2009
What is the most awe-inspiring sight in the night sky? Some would point to the Moon, with its rugged, cratered landscape that even the smallest telescope can bring to life. Others would suggest Saturn, the solar system's ringed marvel. Deep-sky enthusiasts might argue that the Orion Nebula (M42) is the universe's supreme sight.
The late-summer Milky Way extends south through the constellation Sagittarius — the direction toward the heart of the galaxy. Viewing our galaxy on a clear, dark night from the countryside, observers can cruise a strip of some 2,500 visible stars.
Photo by Gianni Tumino
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