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Editor's Choice - Pictures of the Day - The Milky Way - July 13, 2011

An Australian astronomer spent 18 months photographing the night sky with an ordinary digital camera, turning thousands of pictures into a stunning time-lapse video. 



This image shows star trails above Elephant Rock on the Mornington Peninsula in South Victoria.

Alex Cherney took advantage of the lack of light pollution from a remote peninsula on the south coast of Australia to record the dazzling scenes, showing how the sky changes at night.



The pictures show planets, shooting stars, the Milky Way, the Moon, satellites and planes as well as rolling clouds, changing tides and passing ships on the horizon.


Cherney, an IT consultant, spent six separate nights over 18 months shooting the sky — each with a new or crescent moon to ensure minimum interference from light.


His spectacular images were then edited into a two-and-a-half minute video.


“It was my daughter who got me into astronomy,” the 36-year-old father-of-two from Melbourne told the Daily Mail. “She came home from school with a project and asked if we could find aliens, so we went along to a local astronomy club.


“So much of our sky is disappearing due to excessive light pollution. Most people in developed countries wouldn’t see anything like this when they look up.”


“In Australia we’re fortunate in that we don’t have to go far to get away from the city lights, and I hope my pictures will help other people realize what’s really out there. For this, I went out whenever there was a new moon and good weather — six nights over the course of 18 months.


An amazing photo taken from the southern tip of Australia shows a meteorite near the Milky Way.

“I set my camera up to take a sequence of pictures, with each exposure of 30 seconds. I took around 1,000 pictures a night, and then I put them together to demonstrate how the sky moves in relation to our position on Earth.”


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Absolutely stunning. Breath taking in its beauty. Must be humbling beyond words to witness in person.

Please everyone, turn down the lights - this is too good to be missing!!

Awesome photos- not something we see up here in Canada...

Incredible photography... Any links to his video clips?

I had the chance to be in the outback back in 2007 and it really does look like this. It's absolutely incredible and I'd love to go back to see it again

Absolutely stunning digital photographs. The water and land shots look so surreal and the star trails and nebulas are amazing. We usually do have clear night skies here in Bobcaygeon, Ontario and can easily see bright shiny stars everywhere. Our night sky view (obviously) doesn't look anything like these photos though. The fifth photograph is literally out of this world.

Wow, breathtaking pictures. Reminds me of cover art for various sci-fi novels!

Thank you Mr. Cherney.

I plan travel to remote places with the night sky in mind. There also must be living reef near shore. But in my travels and incredible night sky viewing, I've never seen anything like this.

These photos really make you realize how insignificant we are...

Truly stellar! Thank you.

There is a link under 4th pic.

These are just awesome! If we had a nite sky like this here in Mississauga, Canada then I would be up ALL nite every nite!!!

Went to Madagascar last summer and the night sky was unbelievable.
Just wondering why you can not see stars like this in Canada even when you go somewhere with low light pollution?

Is that REALLY the milky way - OMG, I will feel so small. But it's amazing that we technically can "see the sky" - but just too stupid to see it. Thanks a lot for the great work.

Great photos!! Thanks for sharing.

~~Hello...we do have a night sky...just go to northern Ontario where there is little light polution...it is just as spectacular...hoping your readers are more informed than thinking that this is only in Australia...go anywhere where there are not people and light and you will see just how spectacular our night sky is..."not something we see up here in Canada"....are you for real ? Our night sky is every bit as stunning....too bad city dwellers are so daft....

Last time I saw a sky like this was during the blackout in 2003. The Milky Way was in clear view - many people around me thought it was a storm; this made me realize how disconnected we become inside the cities.

Nice. But the Mornington Peninsula isn't "remote" by anyone's definition. I seem to remember it being about an hour's drive from Melbourne. It's more like the Aussie Wasaga Beach than the Outback.

I've just come back from England, and someone in London said to me "I hear you can see lots of stars in Australia". My answer, "you sure can"

We have this gorgeous sky in Canada but it just depends where you are. You will never see it in a city of course but some night just take a drive out into the country and look up, look way up. Further north in Canada you can see the Northern Lights which are totally awesome also.

These are gorgeous pictures but there are gorgeous skys the world over.

These look fake... You can easily combine two pictures like this. They look nice though

Then there are people that say that God does not exist. Spectacular photo's. THANK YOU!

Here's the video link:


Looks great!

Those photos are beautiful, I was in Australia once and i remember how the stars seemed so close, a wonderful sight to see!

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