"We are in the midst of millions and millions of suns-we are in the jewel house of the maker, and our soul mounts up, up to that wonderful creator, and we adore the hand that scattered the jewels of heaven so lavishly in this one vast region."
Edward Emerson Barnard.
There is just something about viewing our Milky Way Galaxy that invokes a sense of awe, so majestic, so huge. What can I possibly say or put into words that hasn't been already said or googled.
There are people in this world that aren't muddied by information, that don't have high speed Internet access, people such as the contemporary hunter gathers, "!Kung Bushmen", they actually believe the Milky Way holds up the sky.... if not for the Milky Way surely the stars would come crashing down to Earth, hence they call it "The Backbone Of Night", wow, to be a bushguy and enjoy stuff for just stuff, mind you they have to pray it doesn't break or they all die, but still, how magnificent it must be to be in their place under the stars, to look at the heavens so differently.
I went out with Astro-Nuts to our local astronomy club's dark site to image the night sky and to see what we could see, was lucky enough to capture a green/violet aurora along with the Milky Way, don't mean to be a braggy Bob again... well maybe a little, the image above was Editor's choice for the Sky and Telescope magazine's web site in their Reader's Photo Gallery section.
Image was taken with my Canon 40D and 10-17mm Tokina fisheye lens, 60 second exposure, ISO 3200, F3.5.
Our Milky Way is classified as a spiral galaxy with anywhere from 200-400 billion stars, the center, the bulge near the horizon, in the constellation Sagittarius has the highest concentration of stars therefore generally the brightest part of the Milky Way. Our Solar System orbit's the Galactic Center once every 220 million years.
Milky Way twirled in Photoshop.
While out that night saw a few meteors and captured the one above.
I'll leave you now with an animated version of one of my Milky Way shots.