A gorgeous composite image of the Milky Way swirling in the night sky is well on its way to becoming an online viral sensation. Created by photographer Christian Sasse, the picture shows the galaxy marching across the night sky.
Sasse composed the image by layering a series of photos, one on top of another. Incidentally, each photo was captured at an interval of 50 minutes. In the final composite photo, it seems as if the Milky Way is rotating through the sky and there is a swirl of stars overhead. According to Sasse, the image is all about light and patterns.
KCRG reported that the image has been shared and liked thousands of times on social media platforms and published in several publications, including National Geographic. The photographer himself was surprised and shocked with the reaction that the image generated.
"I thought it was a nice image. I liked it but I did not expect this reaction at all," Sasse added.
The images of the Milky Way were captured over the span of a single night under the southern Australian sky. Sasse had taken a camper van out to a remote area to experience the night sky.
"When you look up to the zenith you see this incredible three-dimensional Milky Way with light, with its dust cloud sticking out like that, and I wanted to capture that," the photographer said. Sasse, who set up his equipment near one of the telescopes at New South Wales’ Siding Spring Observatory, feels that the southern sky is fascinating in several ways.
According to the National Geographic report, some of the most notable features of Earth’s immediate cosmic neighborhood can be seen primarily from the south. These include the Alpha Centauri that is the closest sat system to the solar system, the Southern Cross that is a bright star grouping, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the dark patch known as Coalsack Nebula and, of course, the shining backbone of the Milky Way.