The Milky Way arching over Devils Tower

Illustration for article titled The Milky Way arching over Devils Tower

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day is featuring this extraordinary 16-photo panorama by astrophotographer David Lane: The Milky Way arching over the Devils Tower, in northeastern Wyoming. I keep looking expecting the UFOs from Close Encounters to zoom into the frame at any time now.

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Seeing as how I live in a city with a fair amount of light pollution, I've always wondered about photos like these. Are there lighting/camera tricks at play here or is all of that really this visible to the human eye?