Awe-Inspiring Photos of the Milky Way Shot Over Yellowstone Park

yellowstone park

Gazing into space, all we see is either a deep blue sky in the daytime or a starlit night during the evening. What we don’t see are the countless celestial bodies that make-up our universe. Kansas-based photographer David Lane however shows us that there is much more than meets the eye through his images.

milky way

Lane spent four months photographing the Milky Way over Yellowstone Park, and one wonderful outcome is a breath-taking rainbow captured at night that is just absolutely incredible.

The Sun and the planets, Earth included, lie in the Milky Way. The Milky Way’s shape is like a huge whirlpool that rotates once every 200 million years. It is composed of at least 100 billion stars, which has dust and gas. It is so immense that light takes 100,000 years to travel from one side to the other. The middle of the Galaxy is very difficult to see since clouds of gas and dust block our view.

milky way yellowstone

Scientists believe that it contains a supermassive black hole that devours anything passing too near it. The Milky Way is part of a cluster of at least 40 galaxies. The so-called Local Group has two huge spiral galaxies, namely, the Milky Way and Andromeda. Lanes’s incredible night photography allows us to observe the former in a way that is so enchanting, it looks like an image lifted out of a fairy tale.

astrophotography yellowstone park

Night photography is a tricky niche, and requires some degree of technical proficiency and skill. A noteworthy modification that Lane made was adjusting airglow saturation. The night sky is actually never totally dark because of the faint emission of light by planetary atmosphere. Hence, Lane raised its saturation by 10%.


In other pictures he merged up to 16 shots in order to get just the right image. Lane is one who adores the night sky, which is evident as he wrote the following. “Get away from the light drive out 20-30 miles out of town and look up on a clear dark night and you may see something that will forever change your life. This is what a galaxy looks like from the inside.”

See his astounding night-time rainbow images of the awesome Milky Way here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.