View from the dark night sky above La Palma in the Canary Islands.
The picture was made by a group of experienced astrophotographers who traveled there to take advantage of the ideal observing conditions near the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.
Faint stars along the plane of our Galaxy compose the delicate, luminous band of the Milky Way stretching across the image from the bottom left. Orion the hunter is easy to find, with glowing nebulae highlighting the hunter's belt and sword. Orion's famous red giant star Betelgeuse, near picture center, has a yellowish cast and Rigel is the bright star in Orion at lower right. Brilliant white Sirius, near the bottom, is the brightest star in the picture (and in Earth's night sky). Sirius is part of the constellation Canis Major. Across the Milky Way, above and to the left of Sirius, is slightly less brilliant Procyon, brightest star of Canis Minor. A V-shaped group of yellowish stars at the upper right, part of Taurus the bull, is dominated by the red giant Aldebaran.
Credit & Copyright: A. Vannini, G. Li Causi, A. Ricciardi, A. Garatti
Adapted from commentary by: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)