The Milky Wave
This photo of The Wave was shot in early August about 90 minutes after sunset. It is very difficult to see The Wave, only twenty permits per day are awarded by lottery from a pool of about 400 applicants. Early August is an excellent time to shoot the Milky Way as it is close to the horizon after sunset and makes a nice diagonal across the sky. The apparent split in the Milky Way (the Great Rift aka Cygnus Split), is due to a light blocking molecular dust cloud lying between the Earth and galactic center. The Milky Way is estimated to contain 100–400 billion stars, and at least 100 billion planets. The unseen center of the Milky Way is believed to be a supermassive black hole. The foreground in this image was lit by a warm colored flashlight, and the back wall by an LED panel.