Nicholas Buer captures the entire Milky Way in one spectacular panorama


posted Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 12:47 PM EST


It's not often you get the chance to shoot a panorama that captures the entire magnificence of the Milky Way in a single image—but that's exactly what photographer Nicholas Buer did in a breath-taking panorama that stretches from the Northern to Southern Cross.

Shot on the 6th of October, 2013, at the Atacama Desert in Chile, Buer shot a series of photographs stretching the entire sky, capturing not just the Milky Way, but also the Moon, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, as well as the large and small Magellanic clouds. Talking to us over email, Buer explained the shoot:

It took me about 15 minutes to complete the 30 image panorama. 15 shots for the sky and 15 shots for the ground. I knew Saturn and Mercury were going to be low as soon as it was astronomically dark, so I had to work quickly. Each photograph was processed in Adobe Lightroom then stitched together in Photoshop (using the Photomerge function) I always try to process my photographs sympathetically. I feel the editing process should be used to enhance the detail that is already there. The night skies of the Atacama where the best I have seen so I had a fantastic starting point to work from.

While you might expect a desert night to be silent, but Buer told us that evening he was accompanied by wild flamingoes and donkeys, making for a raucous shoot.

Buer was kind enough to provide us not just with the panorama itself, but also an annotated version, where he has pointed out the major astronomical features. You can see more of his work through his site, or on his Facebook page. You can see a larger version of the panorama itself on his site.

(via APOD)

Image by Nicholas Buer, used with permission
Image by Nicholas Buer, used with permission