June 29, 2020        I drove to the easternmost point of Kyushu last weekend to take advantage of the (almost) new moon and the dark skies. That point happens to be at the end of the Tsurumi peninsula that juts into the Pacific Ocean. Here, there is the Tsurumisaki Lighthouse and an observation deck with a 360 degree view. It was here that I wanted to take a panorama shot of the Milky Way. 


I arrived after a five hour drive at around 4:00 pm, giving me plenty of time to explore the Lighthouse and observation deck area and compose the shot before night set in. I decided on the observation deck, and it was here that the short sunset time lapse was taken. As I was waiting for the stars to appear, a raccoon dog, or tanuki as it is called here, appeared below. It obligingly looked up at me when it heard the shutter click, and then vanished into the trees at the edge of the clearing. As darkness began to settle over the landscape, the wind began to pick up, so I walked down to the road that went to the lighthouse.  It was here that I found shelter from the wind, along with a clear view of the lighthouse. Most importantly of all, the location would allow full view of the complete Milky Way, whose arch stretched over the horizon from north to south.

  In the panorama of the Milky Way, there is a green glow to the clouds off in the distance. After searching the internet, I was unable to come up with a clear explanation for the phenomenon.

  The panorama is composed of 16 individual frames edited and then stitched together in Lightroom.



 I hope you get out to enjoy the summer nights and see the Milky Way for yourself. Now is the best time to see the core of the Milky Way in the northern hemisphere. Check out DarkSiteFinder (link below) to learn more, and also to locate dark skies in your area. Be safe and thanks for checking out my site.

When is Milky Way Season?