Milky Way from Las Campanas Observatory. Photo by Yuri Beletsky

Milky Way from Las Campanas Observatory. Photo by Yuri Beletsky

This is a picture of nighttime sky – the best kind of nighttime sky that anybody on Earth could hope to see. It was taken from the Las Campanas Observatory in northern Chile by astronomer Yuri Beletsky. In this photo, you’re seeing a fairly realistic image of what the nighttime sky should really look without light pollution. Notice there’s a red dot at upper right corner: it is a total lunar eclipse. And at the left handside, you can see the large and small Magellanic clouds, which are two irregular dwarf galaxies, orbiting the Milky Way. In other words, they are the satellite galaxies of our galaxy. You can also see the Earth’s multi-colored airglow.

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