Dark Sky Photography Info
Below are a few different resources you can use to locate your next location for your dark sky photography adventure. The essential part of doing Milky Way photography is finding the darkest skies, so it is visible. See the dark sky map below. The darker the skies, the more you will see the Milky Way in your image. Also, keep in mind the Milky Way is above the horizon during certain months of the year. We start our Milky Way adventures in June around 10:30 p.m. It would help if you did the photography when no moon is visible. See the new moon chart. The week before the new moon, the moon rises very late, or should we say early the next morning so your still good to go. Basic Night Sky Photography can be done at any time since the Milky Way will not be a part of it.
When to See the Milky Way
The months of November, December, and January are not ideal at all for views of the best part of the Milky Way. The best viewing time in the Northern Hemisphere is in the summer. Hot, humid, or stormy nights make for less ideal conditions and the nights are shorter, but there is still ample opportunity to get it and get it right. A planisphere tool can be used to help locate and find out when the dense part of the Milky Way will be visible.
The time of year must also be considered for getting the best view of the Milky Way. Generally, the dense part of the milky way is best viewed when it is as high as possible in the Southern sky. Facing south during April and May, you see the milky way in the pre-dawn hours. Again, the milky way rises in June around 10:30, and the Milky Way will be visible almost all night. From Mid August through September, the best time is soon after the sun has set, and the sky has grown dark. Generally, start 1 hour after the sun hits the horizon when the milky way starts to burst.