Milky Way Bulge
The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, about 100,000 light-years across. If you could look down on it from the top, you would see a central bulge surrounded by four large spiral arms that wrap around it. Spiral galaxies make up about two-third of the galaxies in the universe.
Unlike a regular spiral, a barred spiral contains a bar across its center region, and has two major arms. The Milky Way also contains two significant minor arms, as well as two smaller spurs. One of the spurs, known as the Orion Arm, contains the sun and the solar system. The Orion arm is located between two major arms, Perseus and Sagittarius.
The Milky Way does not sit still, but is constantly rotating. As such, the arms are moving through space. The sun and the solar system travel with them. The solar system travels at an average speed of 515,000 miles per hour (828,000 kilometers per hour). Even at this rapid speed, the solar system would take about 230 million years to travel all the way around the Milky Way.
Curled around the center of the galaxy, the spiral arms contain a high amount of dust and gas. New stars are constantly formed within the arms. These arms are contained in what is called the disk of the galaxy. It is only about 1,000 light-years thick.
At the center of the galaxy is the galactic bulge. The heart of the Milky Way is crammed full of gas, dust, and stars. The bulge is the reason that you can only see a small percentage of the total stars in the galaxy. Dust and gas within it are so thick that you can't even peer into the bulge of the Milky Way, much less see out the other side.
Tucked inside the very center of the galaxy is a monstrous black hole, billions of times as massive as the sun. This supermassive black hole may have started off smaller, but the ample supply of dust and gas allowed it to gorge itself and grow into a giant. The greedy glutton also consumes whatever stars it can get a grip on. Although black holes cannot be directly viewed, scientists can see their gravitational effects as they change and distort the paths of the material around it, or as they fire off jets. Most galaxies are thought to have a black hole in their heart.
That image of our Milky Way Galactic Bulge, is where it all begun.
After making it, I was officially addicted to Astrophotography and there were no way back for me. Working on that image, where I didn't knew much about processing, where simply a joy.
That was amazing night of incredible seeing and that was the first time that I got under the sky's with my widefield imaging setup. It were more of a testing-equipment-night, but as soon as I found that everything ticks, I just continued to image and this is what came out as a final result, which to my eyes, were simply amazing at that time.
Also, this image gave birth to a "Milky Way Project" which I will work on in coming months. Years? :)
Optics : Tamron 17-50mm XR Di-II LD SP @ 17mm @ F5.6
Camera : Canon T3i (600D) Baader Mod
Mount : NEQ-6 Pro (Self Hypertuned)
Guiding: Not Guided
Acquisition : BackyardEOS 2.0.4
Exposure : 10 x 240 sec @ ISO800, 10 x 300 sec @ ISO400 - 1.5 Hours
Stacking : DSS
Processing : Photoshop