Social Question

Nullo's avatar

Can anybody find a picture of the Milky Way as viewed with the naked eye?

Asked by Nullo (21916points) August 6th, 2012

I Googled, naturally, and turned up the likes of this, which seems to have a lot more detail than is entirely reasonable when compared to the one time I got a good look at it. I would very much like to go to the Paranal Observatory in person to find out, but that’s a bit beyond my means just now.

Or is the eye just that good?

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12 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

I think it depends on your location on the earth, the season and how much manmade light there is in your area to distract from the natural view of the night sky.

DrBill's avatar

bear in mind that most cameras are more light sensitive than the naked eye. I can take a picture of the milky-way in my back yard and get a lot more detail than I can see from the same spot.

Brian1946's avatar

Here’s a photo, that’s fairly similar to the view of the Milky Way band that I saw from about 6,000 feet, on a hill above Yosemite Valley floor.

ETpro's avatar

@Nullo This is pretty close to what I saw as a kid while vacationing on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. That was still with some local light pollution and air pollution from industry in Southeastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina. So @Brian1946‘s version is what you could expect to see when far from man-made lighting and air pollution.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Brian1946 ‘s picture looks very similar to what I was seeing out in the jungle in Belize.

ETpro's avatar

@uberbatman And politicians still insist humans could not possibly do enough to the environment to change anything. No matter that numerous human civilizations have completely died out to to the damage they did to their local environment. Facts are such an irritation to political agendas.

_Whitetigress's avatar

Maybe a “Palomar Mountain Milky Way Galaxy” Google search might do it? (Going to check right now)

_Whitetigress's avatar

Hey sorry couldn’t find a picture per say, but found great footage. South Dakota Video

ETpro's avatar

@_Whitetigress That’s all really there, but not visible with the naked eye. Those time-lapse photos take in a great deal of light per frame because the shutter is open so long. Note that the vegetation appears partially lighted, even though it is the middle of the night, and the star light is all that illuminating it. But thanks for some truly inspiring images.

NanoNano's avatar


People do take them all the time with cameras. Here’s one from Hawaii and I’ve seen others recently as well:

Brian1946's avatar


That photo is utterly fucking gorgeous!

Thanks for posting it, especially because the one I posted has been removed.

NanoNano's avatar


Youre welcome! I see a few of these on the Internet about once a week. Try to save them for a little slide show via thumb drive on my TV…

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