Green airglow shimmers atop translucent clouds as the Milky Way rises over a remote island off the northwest coast of Africa in a majestic photo recently sent to Space.com.
Erwin Matys and Karoline Mrazek captured this spectacular image on June 6, 2013 from the southern part of La Palma Island, Canary Islands. They took the image as part of Project Nightflight, an astrophotography project aimed at "capturing the beauty of the night sky."
“Just after we finished our shots the whole sky was suddenly covered with thick clouds and all the magic was gone,” Matys told Space.com via email. [Spectacular Night Sky Photos for March 2014 (Stargazing Gallery )]
The foreground features the characteristic volcanic landscape of the Canary Islands. The faint lights are from neighboring islands, La Gomera toward the left and El Hierro. Tiny top-lights from a small wind park on the shore give off the fait red glow visible in the foreground.
The photographers digitally combined two exposures of four minutes, one for the Milky Way (tracked), the second for the landscape (untracked). They used a 16mm fisheye lens at f/5.6 on an EOS 350D body with an ISO setting of 1600.
"During our exposures a small animal, we suspect it was a seagull, whistled incessantly," Matys said. "It probably tried to shoo us away from its nearby sleeping place."
"The place was so remote, the bird was obviously used to absolute quiet, because it sounded definitely annoyed by our nocturnal activities," Matys added.
On their Project Nightflight website, Matys and Mrazek write: "It is not our aim to produce images of scientific value. Much more we intend to present the hypnotic power and magic of the universe."
To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by Space.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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