Réunion Island Photo: Milky Way Over Piton De l'Eau By Luc Perrot Is Stunning (PHOTO)
Luc Perrot, a physical therapist and astrophotographer based on Réunion Island, a French territory off the coast of eastern Africa, had to wait two years for the perfect conditions to snap this amazing photo of the Milky Way.
The photograph, which is actually 12 images stitched together, shows the Milky Way over Piton de l'Eau, a volcanic crater lake on the small island. In the background is Piton des Neiges, which at more than 10,000 feet is the highest mountain on Réunion Island.
The picture, taken earlier this month, was featured as NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Perrot told HuffPost in an email that the secret to getting a great shot like this lies in knowing your subject, which in this case is, of course, the sky. "It is also essential to master astronomy to anticipate the movement of the stars," he said.
"Photographing the night sky makes me feel like a magician," Perrot wrote. "It reveals to the world the immensity of our universe."
Perrot has lived on Réunion Island since 1999. He recently took third place in The World At Night's 2012 Earth & Sky Photo Contest. (Source)
Milky Way Over Piton de l'Eau Image Credit & Copyright: Luc Perrot
Explanation: Sometimes, if you wait long enough for a clear and moonless night, the stars will come out with a vengeance. One such occasion occurred earlier this month at the Piton de l'Eau on Reunion Island. In the foreground, surrounded by bushes and trees, lies a water filled volcanic crater serenely reflecting starlight. A careful inspection near the image center will locate Piton des Neiges, the highest peak on the island, situated several kilometers away. In the background, high above the lake, shines the light of hundreds of stars, most of which are within 100 light years, right in our stellar neighborhood. Far in the distance, arching majestically overhead, is the central band of our home Milky Way Galaxy, shining by the light of millions of stars each located typically thousands of light years away. The astrophotographer reports waiting for nearly two years for the sky and clouds to be just right to get the above shot.
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.