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Mars and Milky Way over Big Sur

Big Sur along the central California coast has many state parks for hiking and camping. This state park features a waterfall that drops into the Pacific.

McWay Falls in California, captured July 4, 2016 by Jack Fusco Photography.

McWay Falls in California, captured on the night of July 4, 2016 by Jack Fusco Photography.

The Milky Way – and planets Mars and Saturn, plus the star Antares – are bright in this night photo of McWay Falls in California. The falls drop from an 80-foot (24-meter) cliff into the Pacific Ocean, in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park along the Big Sur coastline of California. If you can’t spot the falls, click the photo to view it larger, or check out the daylight photo below. Jack Fusco wrote:

Hi EarthSky! Hope everyone had a great 4th of July! I drove up to McWay Falls to catch the Milky Way and Mars above the falls. Hope you guys like it!

We do, Jack. Beautiful! Thank you.

Photo of McWay Falls via hikinginbigsur.com.

Daylight photo of McWay Falls via hikinginbigsur.com.

By the way … not sure which of the objects in Jack’s photo are the planets Mars and Saturn and the star Antares? Hint: they’re the three brightest starlike object in the photo. The chart below – and EarthSky’s July guide to the bright planets – should also help.

On these July 2016 evenings, look for the planets Mrs and Saturn in the south to southwest sky.

On these July 2016 evenings, the planets Mars and Saturn make a prominent triangle with the bright red star Antares in the constellation Scorpius.

Bottom line: Milky Way, and McWay Falls in Big Sur, California.

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Deborah Byrd

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