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Milky Way season has started!

Orange-tinted starry clouds with spider-like rock etching in foreground.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Marc Toso in Honeymoon Hill, Nevada, captured this photo of the Milky Way on April 5, 2021. He wrote: “It’s been almost a year since I’ve done a shot like this. It was good to quietly watch the stars again. This rock art alone sits on the highest point of a hill, surrounded by 360 degrees of view, engulfed in the remnants of a stone circle. I like the idea that it is an observatory of the night sky. But I have no idea. It seems likely that someone stood here at night before me. The air was cold. I was fortunate that the wind was absent. Waiting for the long exposures to click by, the only sounds were my breathing and the blood in my heart, reminding myself that we are not much different than the stone and sky. Hoping for more time under the sky soon.” Thank you, Marc!

The long swath of the Milky Way, the edgewise view into our home galaxy, is now rising after midnight as seen from around the globe. At this time of year, at EarthSky Community Photos, we always start seeing many photos of the Milky Way. This year is no different. Enjoy these recent photos of the Milky Way from our community, and submit your own. And, by the way, you have to stay up late now, or get up early, to see the thickest part of the Milky Way, in the direction of the constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius. But this region of the galaxy will be rising a bit earlier each night. Late July and August are always the best time of year to see the Milky Way in the evening. By then, from the Northern Hemisphere, the thickest central portion of our galaxy will dominate our southern sky, while, from the Southern Hemisphere, the thickest part of the galaxy will be glorious overhead.

Cloud of stars behind mountain, manmade arch in foreground.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Firman Nurdiansyah in East Java, Indonesia, captured this photo of the Milky Way on April 13, 2021. He wrote: “The Milky Way rising above Mt. Arjuno, with a tourist vehicle as a foreground.” Thank you, Firman!

Starry cloud over lake with low-level fog, stars reflected in extremely calm lake.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Tejus Shah in New Hampshire captured this photo of the Milky Way on April 9, 2021. He wrote: “New England weather is unpredictable this time of year. Even day-to-day forecasts can change. All signs were pointing to clear skies but in strategic areas, and my initial plan was to hit the southern coast of Massachusetts. But as ‘go time’ got closer, I started getting an uneasy feeling looking at the way the clouds were moving. I decided to ditch the plan and go north instead. And it paid off. When I got to this location, there skies were incredibly clear. The added bonus came with the beautiful mist that hovered over.” Thank you, Tejus!

Cloud of stars stretching across sky with black tree silhouettes.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Dean Balosie in DuPuis Management Area, Florida, captured this photo of the Milky Way on April 10, 2021. He wrote: “Galactic center on the rise just before the sun.” Thank you, Dean!

Milky Way cloud stretching across sky with rugged snow-capped mountains in the distance.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Sheryl Garrison in Waterton Park, Alberta, Canada, captured this photo of the Milky Way on April 6, 2021. She wrote: “Celebrating International Dark Sky Week and taking all necessary bear precautions, we headed to Waterton Lakes National Park (a designated provisional International Dark Sky Park) to photograph the galactic center of the Milky Way. In the distance is Chief Mountain and others of the Lewis Range in Montana, USA.” Thank you, Sheryl!

Star field with band of cloudy-looking Milky Way.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Samee Ullah in Naran, KPK, Pakistan, captured this photo of the Milky Way on April 1, 2021. Samee wrote: “Milky Way in the suburbs of Naran, Pakistan.” Thank you, Samee!

The Milky Way reflected clearly in body of water with bridge in foreground.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Jatinkumar Thakkar in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, captured this photo of the Milky Way on March 20, 2021. He wrote: “Cape Cod has the darkest sky within the state. As the Milky Way season has begun, my friends and I decided to go to Cape Cod to take pictures of the Milky Way near the seashore. What a calm and clear night! We could see a clear reflection of the Milky Way in the water.” Thank you, Jatinkumar!

Bottom line: EarthSky readers are sharing their best Milky Way photos with our community. Share yours.

Kelly Kizer Whitt

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