Mangaia: The window to the Universe

Mangaia: The window to the Universe

Mangaia: The window to the Universe

What a beautiful night on 25th/26th August 2014 on Mangaia, the Cook Islands. I witnessed shooting stars from the descending activity of Perseid meteor shower, incredibly bright zodiacal light and zodiacal bridge across the sky and Milky Way with countless dark nebulae – dusty clouds in the level of our Galaxy splitting the Milky Way in two halves. Though my eyes couldn’t see it, my camera was able to capture many colors of nebulae close to bright stars, as well as the fluorescence of upper Earth’s atmosphere, known to scientists as airglow. Just after midnight, two dwarf galaxies – Magellanic clouds – appeared slowly above the horizon and were so bright I could easily see structures in them without a telescope. Then two more far galaxies – Andromeda galaxy and Swirl galaxy in constellation Triangle – slowly rose up on the opposite side of the sky. So in one moment there were 5 galaxies visible without any telescope. I felt like I had everything so far just on the touch and Mangaia is a window to the Universe. Used Canon 6D, Samyang 24 mm, f2, ISO 8000, 47×15 s panorama; tripod.