Spell-binding galactic trio shines over Mount Bromo volcano

Scott Sutherland

The clear night sky can be a mesmerizing sight from nearly any location on Earth, but there are some places that produce some truly spell-binding views, as this photograph from astrophotographer Justin Ng reveals.

Three galaxies align in this amazing view, as they hang in the pre-dawn sky over the Mount Bromo volcano in southeastern Indonesia. Right in the middle is Andromeda, our massive galactic neighbour, which is roughly 2.5 million light years away. Just down and to the right from there is the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is a small 'satellite' galaxy that orbits around our galaxy, and is only 200,000 light years away.

It might be hard to see the third galaxy, but you need to know what you're looking for — it's our very own Milky Way, and it fills about a third of the night sky on the left side of the image. Since our solar system is in the outskirts of the Milky Way, we get a really nice view of it at night. However, since we're inside it, rather than seeing its full barred-spiral form, we see it edge-on as a swath of dusty clouds and stars stretched across the night sky.

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For fans of astronomy who live in or near large cities, it's really hard to see these amazing sights for ourselves due to light pollution. Astrophotographers like Justin Ng, and ones closer to home — check out sites like Ontario Stargazing, Weather & Sky Photography and SkyNews — are always scanning the skies to help us keep our sense of wonder alive.

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