Michael Seeley wrote:
EarthSky’s August guide to the bright planets explains that in August 2018, four planets arc across the evening sky. From west to east as night falls, these bright worlds are Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. I set out to capture them Friday night – August 3, 2018 – after sunset. The forecast called for some clouds, but as dusk progressed, it became clear (literally) that I would be able to get more than just the arc of the planets. The arc of the Milky Way was entirely possible.
This was the scene from 9:45 to 9:49 p.m. at the Bull Creek Wildlife Management area, approximately 45 minutes southwest of where I live in Melbourne, Florida.
This post also comes with a confession: this is my first Milky Way panorama built from multiple shots, nine of them, to be exact. I’m not sure why nine was what I ended up with, but it was necessary, as this frame encompasses a horizontal field of view of over 180 degrees. The leftmost tail of the Milky Way is roughly pointing ENE, while Venus (the bright object to the far right, hiding in the light on the horizon and shining through some trees) is nearly due west of my location.
Mars is, of course, front-and-center, just above the road and below the Milky Way. Saturn is in the cloud, and then to the right of the cloud (but up and to the left of Venus) is Jupiter.
Also, you can see faint green streaks of light in the foreground (mainly to the left). Those are fireflies, who were all very active (along with the mosquitoes).
Details: 9 frames all shot at ISO2500, 25seconds and f2.8 shot with a Canon 5D4 and a 16-35mm L-series lens. The images were compiled into a photomerge/panorama in Photoshop, and the final edits were done in Adobe’s Lightroom.
Thank you, Michael!
Bottom line: A photo of two arcs, first the arc of the summer Milky Way and also the arc of 4 bright planets visible now after sunset.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.