Thanks for humoring me these last several weeks as we’ve explored other parts of the night sky, and other galaxies altogether!  This week and next we’ll be returning to the more traditional view of our galaxy, the area around the Milky Way core.

A couple years ago when I was up at Clingmans Dome shooting the Neowise comet, it occurred to me that the pathway up to the tower lines up with the Milky Way at various points in the season (the benefit of a circular ramp!).  I thought to myself then that I should come back and shoot that.  Well, fast-forward 2 years and I finally made it happen!  I don’t go up to Clingmans Dome that often to shoot night stuff because the weather up there can be somewhat unpredictable, and it’s a long drive from my house compared to other spots I like to shoot.  Basically all the forecast models have to agree for me to feel like it’s worth the trip.  As I’ve mentioned in the previous weeks, the sky this summer was a real challenge for shooting the night sky, but this fall we’ve had several nice opportunities!  

This time of year the Milky Way sets so close to sunset that you don’t get a lot of time with it.  Essentially as soon as it’s dark, you’ve got to be shooting, and then within 30 minutes or so, you’re done.  No room for error!  Fortunately all the stars aligned (ha!) and I was able to capture what I was after.  The pathway seems to lead right out into the galaxy!

More next week!

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome, North Carolina 28713, USA

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