Tag Archives: milkyway

Milkyway in Bali

The dark night skies are rare these days, even in many parts of the remote world we live in. As more people start living in these parts, electricity follows, filling the dark skies with their bright orange light.

Became obsessed with photographing the Milkyway and the night skies. My first image of the milkyway was a mistake shot while photographing the landscape in the chilly nights of Bolivia Salt Plains. I never knew it could exist in my camera. It looked very much like clouds with naked eye. How wrong I was about the cloud that turned out to be the milkyway, and that cloud was seen through my camera yet I was unable to see it with my eyes.

Living in the city where it is bright at night has created a yearning within me. I loved the night skies and the stars. Light pollution is bad everywhere, night photography is not easy even in remote parts these days, where a tiny amount of light can affect the quality of star gazing.

Staring into the milkyway is mesmerising to think we are part of this awesome galaxy.

Bali, Indonesia became a place for me to experiment, especially at Jutiluwati Rice Terraces. Had not planned for a shoot, the moon was pretty bright and the surrounding villages were all lit up during a pretty windy and cloudy sky.


Little Casita and the Milkyway

Took this night image while I was in Cuyamunge Institute of New Mexico. The dark skies were incredible although the stars were not as bright with a few days to full moon. One of the perks in living in the desert despite the dry heat are the clear dark skies and the incredible display of stars.

The milkway was not as visible as it should be to the naked eye due to the bright moon and the light pollution coming from the other adobe buildings and from Buffalo Thunder, a pueblo across from the institute.

How sensitive the stars are even with little light pollution from the surroundings!
This is my favorite adobe building in Cuyamunge, it’s not on the electrical grid and is only lit up with candlelight. It was mentioned to me that Felicitas Goodman, an¬†anthropologist and founder of the Institute used this building as her little retreat while she was living in the land.

Interestingly Earth is part of the milky way galaxy and what we see is the accumulation of millions and billions of stars; the center of the galaxy where the nebulas and star clusters are all crammed up into this dense cloud.

The month of July is the best time to view the milky way, so if you are still out in the open dark skies, grab a chair or a sleeping bag and watch the milkyway rise around 11pm in New Mexico. Also in July, get up early around 4am(GMT -8) and witness the conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and the brightest visible star, Aldebaran as they rise from the horizon. They will seem so big that you might think they are colliding towards Earth!

I was too in awed in my groggy state to photograph the conjunction, when I saw those rare planetary and star lined up as they rise up just before dawn.