Astronomy

What part of the milky way do we see from earth?

What part of the milky way do we see from earth?


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

When looking up at the night sky, we can sometimes observe a bright band of stars stretching across it. I know this is our galaxy but exactly what are we looking at?

  1. Could we look at the centre of the galaxy or is there another spiral arm blocking our view?
  2. How does our view change as earth rotates around the sun? (E.g. What part of the milky way do we see in a winter night sky)

Fraser Cain:

We're seeing the galaxy edge on, from the inside, and so we see the galactic disk as a band that forms a complete circle around the sky.

Which parts you can see depend on your location on Earth and the time of year, but you can always see some part of the disk.

The galactic core of the Milky Way is located in the constellation Sagittarius, which is located to the South of me in Canada, and only really visible during the Summer. In really faint skies, the Milky Way is clearly thicker and brighter in that region.

If you want to know more, watch this video from Fraser Cain which explains it in details:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdFWbEwsOmA

You can find your answer in the first minute


Where is Earth in the Milky Way?

For thousand of years, astronomers and astrologers believed that the Earth was at the center of our Universe. This perception was due in part to the fact that Earth-based observations were complicated by the fact that the Earth is embedded in the Solar System. It was only after many centuries of continued observation and calculations that we discovered that the Earth (and all other bodies in the Solar System) actually orbits the Sun.

Much the same is true about our Solar System’s position within the Milky Way. In truth, we’ve only been aware of the fact that we are part of a much larger disk of stars that orbits a common center for about a century. And given that we are embedded within it, it has been historically difficult to ascertain our exact position. But thanks to ongoing efforts, astronomers now know where our Sun resides in the galaxy.


The Appearance of the Milky Way in the Night Sky

When you observe the night sky with your eyes, you can see the Moon, perhaps several planets, and many stars. If you are in a particularly dark location and if the moonlight is not too bright, you may also see a faint band of light that stretches from horizon to horizon. This pale, white glow has been called the Milky Way for centuries. The word “Galaxy” actually means Milky Way. If you look galaxy up in the dictionary, you will find that the root of this word comes from the Greek and Latin words for milk. I often like to ask students if they know the scientific name for the sugar in milk -- most have heard of lactose, but fewer have heard of galactose. If someone comes up with galactose, though, I try to make the connection between that sugar and our name for the structure in space in which we live.

Try this in Starry Night!

  1. Open Starry Night.
  2. Set the date and time to June 15 at 10:30pm. (The year doesn't matter!)
  3. Face South—you can't miss the Milky Way!

Below is a real image of what you might see from a really dark sky site (in this case, Death Valley). For most of us, seeing the Milky Way as bright as it appears in Starry Night or in this image is a rarity, but this used to be a very common site.

There are many images of the Milky Way available on APOD. Some of my favorites all seem to be from Mauna Kea:

With just your eyes, it is difficult to tell that the Milky Way is anything besides a faint, patchy glow. However, with even the smallest telescope or binoculars you can resolve this glow into stars. Below is an image taken as part of the 2MASS infrared survey of the sky that reveals the density of stars in the center of the Milky Way. If you prefer, there is a much higher resolution version of this image available for closer inspection.

This image, and images you have seen previously during our study of the ISM, show you a representative section of the Milky Way, but they also show you why it appears patchy. There are large, dark clouds that obscure some of the stars. Thus, when you see the Milky Way with your unaided eye, you don't see a uniform glow, but a bright glow that is interrupted by dark patches.

The images above show just a sampling of the part of the Milky Way that is visible from a particular site by a typical camera. An interesting question to answer is: How would the Milky Way look if we could see the entire sky all at once? We can use the same techniques that mapmakers use to represent the entire Earth on a flat map to show you how the entire sky looks. For example, here is a projection of the globe of the Earth:

In this map of the Earth, you can see the entire globe and all of the continents and oceans represented inside of the elliptical boundary. Although this particular map projection is not used as much anymore for maps of the Earth, astronomers often use this same projection of the three-dimensional sky onto a two-dimensional picture when they want to represent the whole sky in a single picture. Below are several examples of these Aitoff projections of the whole sky.

There is a common feature in all of these images. The Milky Way is seen as a mostly flat, irregularly-shaped feature that stretches from side to side of every image. This tells us that if we could follow the Milky Way below our personal view of the horizon, it would be seen as a ring completely encircling the Earth. There are obviously some stars outside of this ring, but there are fewer of them (the caption for the map of half a billion stars points out that in some parts of the sky there are 150,000 stars per square degree, while in others there are only 500 stars per square degree). I also included two links to images of the whole sky using different wavelengths of light: infrared and radio waves. The reason for this choice is because I wanted to demonstrate that the Milky Way looks different when observed in different kinds of light. We will study this in more depth in a later section of this lesson.

The Sun is a star. We see many hundreds of stars with our naked eyes, and with telescopes, we can see that the band of the Milky Way is made up of the combined light from many stars. Historically, astronomers have used several methods to understand how the Sun, the bright stars, and the Milky Way all fit together into a coherent picture of the layout of the universe. In the next section, we are going to study one of the early simple methods for doing this: counting stars.


What Part of the Milky Way Can We See?

Anyone who’s ever been in truly dark skies has seen the Milky Way. The bright band across the sky is unmistakable. It’s a view of our home galaxy from within.

As you stare out into the skies and see that splash of stars, have you ever wondered, what are you looking at? Which parts are towards the inside of the galaxy and which parts are looking out? Where’s that supermassive black hole you’ve heard so much about?

In order to see the Milky Way at all, you need seriously dark skies, away from the light polluted city. As the skies darken, the Milky Way will appear as a hazy fog across the sky.

Imagine it as this vast disk of stars, with the Sun embedded right in it, about 27,000 light-years from the core. We’re seeing the galaxy edge on, from the inside, and so we see the galactic disk as a band that forms a complete circle around the sky.

Which parts you can see depend on your location on Earth and the time of year, but you can always see some part of the disk.

The galactic core of the Milky Way is located in the constellation Sagittarius, which is located to the South of me in Canada, and only really visible during the Summer. In really faint skies, the Milky Way is clearly thicker and brighter in that region.

Want to know the exact point of the galactic core? It’s right… there.

During the Winter, we’re looking away from the galactic core to the outer regions of the galaxy. It still has the same band of stars, but it’s thinner and without the darker clouds of dust that obscure our view to the galactic core.

How do astronomers even know that we’re in a spiral galaxy anyway?

There are two major types of galaxies, spiral galaxies and elliptical galaxies.

Elliptical galaxies are made up of so many galactic collisions, they’re nothing more than vast balls of trillions of stars, with no structure. Because we can see a distinct band in the sky, we know we’re in some kind of spiral.

The differences between elliptical and spiral galaxies is easy to see. M87 at left and M74, both photographed with the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA/ESA

Astronomers map the arms by looking at the distribution of gas, which pulls together in star forming spiral arms. They can tell how far the major arms are from the Sun and in which direction.

The trick is that half the Milky Way is obscured by gas and dust. So we don’t really know what structures are on the other side of the galactic disk. With more powerful infrared telescopes, we’ll eventually be able to see though the gas and dust and map out all the spiral arms.

If you’ve never seen the Milky Way with your own eyes, you need to. Get far enough away from city lights to truly see the galaxy you live in.

The best resource is “The Dark Sky Finder”, we’ll put a link in the show notes.

Have you ever seen the Milky Way? If not, why not? Let’s hear a story of a time you finally saw it.

And if you like what you see, come check out our Patreon page and find out how you can get these videos early while helping us bring you more great content!


What is the Milky Way?

The Milky Way, the galaxy we call home, contains between 200 and 400 billion stars of different sizes, intensities and ages. If you stop and think about it, you realise how small our earth and solar system is in comparison to our galaxy. We are just one small planet orbiting around 1 of up to 400 billion stars in our galaxy. In addition, there are likely to be a similar number of planets that are likely to exist in the Milky Way — some of them part of solar systems like ours and some floating freely. To top this all off, our galaxy is only one in about 2 trillion galaxies. Which is pretty amazing!

If you picture the Milky Way as the shape of a disc, it is about 100,000 light-years across and about 10,000 light-years thick. Why Do We Call The Milky Way, The ‘Milky Way’? The Romans called it Via Lactea and envisioned it as a band of spilt milk. As you can see in the many images of the Milky Way, you will see a dim, milky looking glow circling the outer edge. This is caused by the countless bright burning stars that surround it. In its overall structure, the Milky Way galaxy resembles long arms of material spiralling out from a centre of a more concentrated mass. This spiral formation places our galaxy into the classification of a barred spiral galaxy. The entire galaxy is slowly rotating around the central bar with two major prominent arms and two minor arms making up the spiral. The two major spiral arms, Scutum-Centaurus and Perseus, unwind from the galactic nucleus, each full of young and ancient stars. The two minor arms, Sagittarius and Norma, branch off as well and contain gas and groupings of young stars.

The entire galaxy is slowly rotating around the central bar. Given the size of the galaxy, this rotation is so gradual that casual observers do not notice it. It takes the sun between 200 and 230 million years to complete an orbit of the galaxy. The next closest galaxy is the Andromeda Galaxy, another spiral galaxy that is sometimes referred to as our “sister galaxy.” Both galaxies are found in the Virgo Supercluster, a large group of galaxies that includes the “local group,” an assortment of galaxies that includes the Milky Way.

Even though we are part of the Milky way you can still see it in the sky. When people talk about finding the Milky Way, they actually mean the galactic core of the Milky Way. On clear summer nights, you can see a white stripe across the sky from one side to the other. In order to see it, it is best to look for dark places in very natural spaces. Even the light from the moon can affect your viewing. If you reside in a major city where complete dark skies are a thing of the past, you may have more difficulty. If you are lucky enough to be in a location where you can see the true beauty of the Milky Way it forms a truly breathtaking band in the night sky, filled with a dense cloud of billions and billions of stars.


Which arms of the Milky Way do we see?

Following up on a debate at the local astronomy club, I'm wondering which arms of the Milky Way do we actually see in it's "Summer and Winter regions". Towards that, I came up with the following.

SkySafari lists the position of many objects WRT the Milky Way. Below are the arms in which some of the prominent naked-eye or small-telescope objects populate constellations that contain the disc of the Milky Way.

Scutum - Sagittarius Arm which also contains the Scutum Star Cloud
Sagittarius - Sagittarius Arm
Centaurus, Crux, Carina - Orion Spur, Sagittarius Arm
Vela - Orion Spur

Inter-arm gap where the Milky Way is wispy between Vela and Puppis. From Puppis, we see the Orion Spur almost along its axis which makes it appear rich

Puppis - Orion Spur
Canis Major - Orion Spur
Monoceros - Orion Spur
Gemini - Orion Spur [NGC 2158 close to M 35 is in the Outer Arm (17KLY away)]

Perseus Arm now comes close enough (

4KLY) so some clusters in it are visible to the naked eye. At the same time, the Orion Spur appears to thin out as we are looking through it face-on, causing the Milky Way to appear wispy again

Auriga - Orion Spur, Perseus Arm
Perseus - Orion Spur, Perseus Arm
Cassiopeia - Perseus Arm
Cepheus - Orion Spur

From Cygnus, we see the Orion Spur edge-on again which makes it appear rich

Cygnus - Orion Spur which also contains the Cygnus Star Cloud which is supposed to have the densest star field in the sky

Aquila - beginning of the Sagittarius Arm

Therefore, the arms that we see in the winter Milky Way must almost exclusively be the Orion Spur and in the summer Milky Way the Sagittarius Arm. Since the most distant stars visible to the naked-eye are between 2-4KLY away and very few in number (the Garnet Star, or Rho Cassiopeiae), individual stars in the Perseus and Scutum/Centaurus Arm seem too far away for their arms to be visible unless bunched up when seen along their axes (dust also obscures the latter arm).

I would like to have some comments on the above conclusion.

Further, is there a way one could place DSOs on a galactic map, like we place them on the celestial sphere in most apps? I guess Bill Tschumy is out with "Our Galaxy" for MACs. Are there others?

#2 Jim Davis

There was a recent thread on that subject here: https://www.cloudyni. -the-milky-way/

#3 dearchichi

There was a recent thread on that subject here: https://www.cloudyni. -the-milky-way/

Yes, I did see that thread, which is more about the galactic structure (which parts of the celestial sphere contains what arms/transitions between arms). I'm interested to know what arms we primarily see naked-eye, and why. For example, I always assumed the winter Milky Way we see is the Perseus Arm, but I think it's got to be the Orion Spur.

#4 sunnyday

I don't know if it can help answer your question.

#5 ShaulaB

Just Googled "chart of deep sky objects in the galaxy"

#6 Jim Davis

Yes, I did see that thread, which is more about the galactic structure (which parts of the celestial sphere contains what arms/transitions between arms). I'm interested to know what arms we primarily see naked-eye, and why. For example, I always assumed the winter Milky Way we see is the Perseus Arm, but I think it's got to be the Orion Spur.

Post #19 give a good run down of which arms are visible in each part of the sky.

#7 Dave Mitsky

#8 stoest

Further, is there a way one could place DSOs on a galactic map, like we place them on the celestial sphere in most apps? I guess Bill Tschumy is out with "Our Galaxy" for MACs. Are there others?

SkySafari Pro has a nice feature that maps some objects, at least all the galactic Messiers, on a galactic map. I use it a lot at outreach when someone will ask where is that in the galaxy and I'll pull up that feature. I also found an Windows app one time called Where is M13. It did pretty much the same thing.

Edited by stoest, 06 April 2020 - 06:48 PM.

#9 Starman1

Hello,

Following up on a debate at the local astronomy club, I'm wondering which arms of the Milky Way do we actually see in it's "Summer and Winter regions". Towards that, I came up with the following.

SkySafari lists the position of many objects WRT the Milky Way. Below are the arms in which some of the prominent naked-eye or small-telescope objects populate constellations that contain the disc of the Milky Way.

Scutum - Sagittarius Arm which also contains the Scutum Star Cloud
Sagittarius - Sagittarius Arm
Centaurus, Crux, Carina - Orion Spur, Sagittarius Arm
Vela - Orion Spur

Inter-arm gap where the Milky Way is wispy between Vela and Puppis. From Puppis, we see the Orion Spur almost along its axis which makes it appear rich

Puppis - Orion Spur
Canis Major - Orion Spur
Monoceros - Orion Spur
Gemini - Orion Spur [NGC 2158 close to M 35 is in the Outer Arm (17KLY away)]

Perseus Arm now comes close enough (

4KLY) so some clusters in it are visible to the naked eye. At the same time, the Orion Spur appears to thin out as we are looking through it face-on, causing the Milky Way to appear wispy again

Auriga - Orion Spur, Perseus Arm
Perseus - Orion Spur, Perseus Arm
Cassiopeia - Perseus Arm
Cepheus - Orion Spur

From Cygnus, we see the Orion Spur edge-on again which makes it appear rich

Cygnus - Orion Spur which also contains the Cygnus Star Cloud which is supposed to have the densest star field in the sky

Aquila - beginning of the Sagittarius Arm

Therefore, the arms that we see in the winter Milky Way must almost exclusively be the Orion Spur and in the summer Milky Way the Sagittarius Arm. Since the most distant stars visible to the naked-eye are between 2-4KLY away and very few in number (the Garnet Star, or Rho Cassiopeiae), individual stars in the Perseus and Scutum/Centaurus Arm seem too far away for their arms to be visible unless bunched up when seen along their axes (dust also obscures the latter arm).

I would like to have some comments on the above conclusion.

Further, is there a way one could place DSOs on a galactic map, like we place them on the celestial sphere in most apps? I guess Bill Tschumy is out with "Our Galaxy" for MACs. Are there others?

Thanks.

The stars in Cygnus are a lot closer than the stars in Sagittarius (about half the distance). In one, we see the closest arm to us, and in the other, we are looking across a large gap to see the Sagittarius arm.

There is a recent article in Scientific American highlighting very recent findings about the Milky Way (for instance, that we are only 1/3 of the way from the center to the edge).

It's in the April 2020 issue:

#10 Jon Isaacs

SkySafari Pro has a nice feature that maps some objects, at least all the galactic Messiers, on a galactic map. I use it a lot at outreach when someone will ask where is that in the galaxy and I'll pull up that feature. I also found an Windows app one time called Where is M13. It did pretty much the same thing.

This is a nice feature. It provides a face on view and side view of the galaxy, the sun and the object. You can see where the object is in the galaxy as where it is relative to the Galaxy's plane.

Bill Tschumy, the primary author of SkySafari, has a new app called Our Galaxy, it runs on apple stuff, Ipds etc.

#11 dearchichi

SkySafari Pro has a nice feature that maps some objects, at least all the galactic Messiers, on a galactic map. I use it a lot at outreach when someone will ask where is that in the galaxy and I'll pull up that feature. I also found an Windows app one time called Where is M13. It did pretty much the same thing.

Thank you. Are you referring to the "Galaxy" option in the information panel for an object? If so, it is useful but rather clunky to use: only one object can be plotted at a time, the screen is split in two to show the X,Y and Z coordinates while it could be made into a 3D model and zooming in and out is painful.

#12 dearchichi

Thanks for the responses. My main question was, is the below a correct inference to draw?

- the arms we see from Scutum to Carina are almost exclusively the Sagittarius Arm

- the arms we see from Vela to Puppis are the Sagittarius Arm giving way to the Orion Spur. I have not seen this yet. How evident is it under Bortle 2 skies?

- the arms we see from Puppis to Auriga are almost exclusively the Orion Spur

- the arm we see from Perseus to Cepheus is the Perseus Arm. I have not seen this yet. How evident is it under Bortle 2 skies?

- the arms we see in Cygnus is almost exclusively the Orion Spur

- the arms we see in Aquila are the Orion Spur giving way to the Sagittarius Arm


Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is “warped and twisted” and not flat as previously thought, new research shows. Astronomers from Warsaw University speculate that it might have been bent out of shape by past interactions with nearby galaxies. …

The researchers combined the data from the Planck satellite with data from other observations, mixed them all together (in a statistically appropriate way) and asked the combined data set about the curvature of the universe. The answer? No curvature at all we live in a flat cosmos.


Astronomy of the Milky Way

This second edition of Mike Inglis's classic guide to observing the Milky Way in the Northern Hemisphere updates all of the science with new findings from the astrophysics field, as well as featuring a larger format with entirely re-drawn maps. Newly laid out for ease of use with an increased number of images in color, it updates and improves the first edition to remain the most comprehensive book on the subject. One of the wonders of the universe we live in is the Milky Way, and this book provides a wonderful tour of its highlights for amateur astronomers.

Northern hemisphere observers interested in viewing our own galaxy's finest features will find herein detailed descriptions for every constellation that the Milky Way passes through, including stars, double and multiple stars, emission nebulae, planetary nebulae, dark nebulae and supernovae remnants, open and globular clusters, and galaxies.

Inglis also describes the one thing that is often left out of observing guides - the amazing star clouds of the Milky Way itself. In addition to the descriptive text there are many star charts and maps, as well as the latest images made by observatories and amateur astronomers around the world and in space. This updated version offers new scientific material and an easy-to-use layout perfect for many nights of fruitful observation.

Mike Inglis is a professional astronomer who also has a life-long passion for amateur astronomy. In addition to observing the night sky whenever he can he has worked at the University of Hertfordshire and Warwick University in the UK, at Princeton University in the USA, and used some of the world’s largest telescopes in Australia, La Palma and Hawaii. He is the author of several astronomy books for amateurs and students, and has had many articles published in both popular astronomy magazines and research level journals. He is series editor for three Springer series: "Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics & Astrophysics" for degree-level Physics and Astrophysics students "SpringerBriefs in Astronomy" for PhD astrophysics students and research astrophysicists, and "Astronomers' Observing Guides" for advanced amateur astronomers. He is currently Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the State University of New York, USA.

“This updated edition … of Astronomy of the Milky Way is intended as a guide for amateur optical astronomers seeking interesting objects to investigate with their telescopes. … The book is recommended for amateur stargazers. … Summing Up: Recommended. General readers.” (D. E. Hogg, Choice, Vol. 55 (4), December, 2017)


Scientific Red Flag Spotted in Milky Way’s Dark, Dusty Center – Oddity Moving in the Direction of Earth

Figuring out how much energy permeates the center of the Milky Way — a discovery reported in the July 3 edition of the journal Science Advances — could yield new clues to the fundamental source of our galaxy’s power, said L. Matthew Haffner of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

The Milky Way’s nucleus thrums with hydrogen that has been ionized, or stripped of its electrons so that it is highly energized, said Haffner, assistant professor of physics & astronomy at Embry-Riddle and co-author of the Science Advances paper. “Without an ongoing source of energy, free electrons usually find each other and recombine to return to a neutral state in a relatively short amount of time,” he explained. “Being able to see ionized gas in new ways should help us discover the kinds of sources that could be responsible for keeping all that gas energized.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student Dhanesh Krishnarao (“DK”), lead author of the Science Advances paper, collaborated with Haffner and UW-Whitewater Professor Bob Benjamin — a leading expert on the structure of stars and gas in the Milky Way. Before joining Embry-Riddle in 2018, Haffner worked as a research scientist for 20 years at UW, and he continues to serve as principal investigator for the Wisconsin H-Alpha Mapper, or WHAM, a telescope based in Chile that was used for the team’s latest study.

To determine the amount of energy or radiation at the center of the Milky Way, the researchers had to peer through a kind of tattered dust cover. Packed with more than 200 billion stars, the Milky Way also harbors dark patches of interstellar dust and gas. Benjamin was taking a look at two decades’ worth of WHAM data when he spotted a scientific red flag — a peculiar shape poking out of the Milky Way’s dark, dusty center. The oddity was ionized hydrogen gas, which appears red when captured through the sensitive WHAM telescope, and it was moving in the direction of Earth.

The position of the feature — known to scientists as the “Tilted Disk” because it looks tilted compared with the rest of the Milky Way — couldn’t be explained by known physical phenomena such as galactic rotation. The team had a rare opportunity to study the protruding Tilted Disk, liberated from its usual patchy dust cover, by using optical light. Usually, the Tilted Disk must be studied with infrared or radio light techniques, which allow researchers to make observations through the dust, but limit their ability to learn more about ionized gas.

“Being able to make these measurements in optical light allowed us to compare the nucleus of the Milky Way to other galaxies much more easily,” Haffner said. “Many past studies have measured the quantity and quality of ionized gas from the centers of thousands of spiral galaxies throughout the universe. For the first time, we were able to directly compare measurements from our Galaxy to that large population.”

Krishnarao leveraged an existing model to try and predict how much ionized gas should be in the emitting region that had caught Benjamin’s eye. Raw data from the WHAM telescope allowed him to refine his predictions until the team had an accurate 3-D picture of the structure. Comparing other colors of visible light from hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen within the structure gave researchers further clues to its composition and properties.

At least 48 percent of the hydrogen gas in the Tilted Disk at the center of the Milky Way has been ionized by an unknown source, the team reported. “The Milky Way can now be used to better understand its nature,” Krishnarao said.

The gaseous, ionized structure changes as it moves away from the Milky Way’s center, researchers reported. Previously, scientists only knew about the neutral (non-ionized) gas located in that region.

“Close to the nucleus of the Milky Way,” Krishnarao explained, “gas is ionized by newly forming stars, but as you move further away from the center, things get more extreme, and the gas becomes similar to a class of galaxies called LINERs, or low ionization (nuclear) emission regions.”

The structure appeared to be moving toward Earth because it was on an elliptical orbit interior to the Milky Way’s spiral arms, researchers found.

LINER-type galaxies such as the Milky Way make up roughly a third of all galaxies. They have centers with more radiation than galaxies that are only forming new stars, yet less radiation than those whose supermassive black holes are actively consuming a tremendous amount of material.

“Before this discovery by WHAM, the Andromeda Galaxy was the closest LINER spiral to us,” said Haffner. “But it’s still millions of light-years away. With the nucleus of the Milky Way only tens of thousands of light-years away, we can now study a LINER region in more detail. Studying this extended ionized gas should help us learn more about the current and past environment in the center of our Galaxy.”

Next up, researchers will need to figure out the source of the energy at the center of the Milky Way. Being able to categorize the galaxy based on its level of radiation was an important first step toward that goal.

Now that Haffner has joined Embry-Riddle’s growing Astronomy & Astrophysics program, he and his colleague Edwin Mierkiewicz, associate professor of physics, have big plans. “In the next few years, we hope to build WHAM’s successor, which would give us a sharper view of the gas we study,” Haffner said. “Right now our map `pixels’ are twice the size of the full moon. WHAM has been a great tool for producing the first all-sky survey of this gas, but we’re hungry for more details now.”

In separate research, Haffner and his colleagues earlier this month reported the first-ever visible-light measurements of “Fermi Bubbles” — mysterious plumes of light that bulge from the center of the Milky Way. That work was presented at the American Astronomical Society.

Reference: “Discovery of Diffuse Optical Emission Lines from the Inner Galaxy: Evidence for LI(N)ER-like Gas” by D. Krishnarao, R. A. Benjamin and L. M. Haffner, 3 July 2020, Science Advances.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay9711

Research described in the Science Advances paper, “Discovery of Diffuse Optical Emission Lines from the Inner Galaxy: Evidence for LI(N)ER-like Gas,” was supported in part by the National Science Foundation for WHAM development, operations, and science activities including grants AST-0607512, AST-1108911, and AST-1714472/1715623 NASA grant NNX17AJ27G and IDEX Paris-Saclay grant ANR-11-IDEX-0003-02.


9 Comments

what a wonderful compilation of all the paramters to see the milky way.
Great work !!

Thank you! Got a new DSLR. Snapped Jupitor, but waiting for right time to catch the Milky Way now. Gracias!!
Carmon

I have taken photos of the Milky Way from several dark sky areas. The suggestion and information I got from the various websites, this is the most comprehensive. Thank you.

David, thanks for your comments (including the one about the copied section). We have reworked that section to ensure it is original and discussed the issue with the writer. I hope the rest of the article was helpful for you!

Thank you for sharing this post, Sharmila. A question, since this is rather new to me – I live in an area that is very populated and lit, so I’ve never had the opportunity to experience this. Is the Milky Way visible only in certain areas of the world (specific latitudes, etc), or would it be visible anywhere, if we just turned out all the lights?

Thanks for asking, Helen! I’ll answer for Sharmila – the Milky Way is best visible in the southern hemisphere year-round in the northern hemisphere, our best views happen in the summer when we tip toward the galactic core. So it depends on the time of year and the latitude!

What a comprehensive article! My husband asked me (the family stargazer) why we can’t see the Milky Way. I mentioned the ambient light, but didn’t know it depends on the time of year! We live in Tucson which does a great job of limiting lights that point upward. But we still have too much light for stargazing.

I’ll refer my husband to this article. Thanks.

Thanks for reading, Gwen – and glad to help! I hope this explains it for him and you’re able to see some incredible Milky Way views next summer when it’s at its best!

David, I know this will be a shot in the dark but I am traveling to Portland in July and was wondering if you knew a good place to photograph the Milky Way? Maybe within a couple miles of the city. I’m from VA and have a hard time seeing a dark sky where I am. Thanks so much.