Milky way in its full splendor at Mt Cook National Park, NZ.
This picture was taken during our recent vacation to south islands, NZ. The whole of the trip, bad weather chased us. Clear skies were a luxury. But fortunately for us, when we reached Aoraki national park, this beautiful day ( and night ) hit us from no where. We parked our camper van and decided to enjoy the day. After a day of trekking, during which, I was constantly planning on how to photograph the night sky, and praying the the onesies-2sies cloud will just fly away, we were granted out wish.
During dinner, I was thinking about how far to walk to get to a zero light zone and was trading ideas with my wife. At about 10 PM, with all my gear set, I decided to go for a hike. Boy, was I wrong. The moment I stepped out of the van and looked up, I witnessed a sky that I have never seen before. So many stars and galaxies lit up the night sky like nobodies business. It was hard to identify any known constellations. Too many stars and planets laid out as a visual treat. You could really visualize what our ancestors were treated to every night and how easy it was for them to map night skies out. Its just there.
With so much light pollution around these days, this natural view of the our skies is rapidly diminishing. Something for us to think about. The new generations might never get to see it. But there are organizations like darksky that are trying to remedy this. Support you local chapter or do your bit to preserve night skies.