The Milky Way Over Ontario
Sometimes, after your eyes adapt to the dark, a spectacular sky appears. Such was the case
earlier this month over Ontario, Canada, when part of a spectacular sky also became visible
in a reflection off a lake. To start, the brightest objects visible are bright stars and the planet
Jupiter, seen as the brightest spot on the upper left. A distant town appears as a diffuse glow
over the horizon. More faint still, the disk of the Milky Way Galaxy becomes apparent as a
dramatic diffuse band across the sky that seems to crash into the horizon far in the distance.
In the foreground, a picturesque landscape includes trees, a lake, and a stone wall. Finally, on
this serene night in July when the lake water was unusually calm, reflections appear. Visible
in the lake are not only reflections of several bright stars, but part of the Milky Way band itself.
Careful inspection of the image will reveal, however, that bright stars leave small trails in the
lake reflections that do not appear in the sky above. The reason for this is because the above
image is actually a digital composite of time-consecutive exposures from the same camera. In the
first set of exposures, sky images were co-added with slight rotations to keep the stars in one place.