Galactic Forest


Ewoks out of shot.

Behold: a memorable shot taken by photographer Will Godward who knew that celestial objects directly overhead are seen more clearly because their light is scattered least by atmospheric air. And so, around midnight in Southern Australia….

Chasing his mental picture, he ventured deep inside the Kuipto Forest where tall radiata pines blocked out much of the sky — but not in this clearing. There, through a window framed by trees, he captured his envisioned combination of local and distant nature. Sixteen exposures of both trees and the Milky Way Galaxy were recorded. Antares is the bright orange star to left of our Galaxy’s central plane, while Alpha Centauri is the bright star just to the right of the image center. The direction toward our Galaxy’s center is below Antares. Although in a few hours the Earth’s rotation moved the Galactic plane up and to the left — soon invisible behind the timber, his mental image was secured forever — and is featured here.

(Image: Will Godward)


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