Can a Single Image Capture the Entire Plane of the Milky Way Galaxy?

Can one image capture a full view of our galaxy? Yes... but it requires time, travel, two exposures, and some minor digital assistance.

The extraordinary image produced by astrophotographer Maroun Habib was recently tweeted by user Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) after originally appearing as one of NASA's "Astronomy Picture of the Day" entries on March 13, 2018. Check out the tweet below and CLICK HERE to see a full size version of the picture.

Is it possible to capture the entire plane of our galaxy in a single image? Yes, but not in one exposure: Maroun Habib did in two with some planning. Top and bottom part of this image were taken six months apart and there you have it, the complete plane

— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) August 24, 2019

As further detailed in the original NASA post, the image is actually comprised of two exposures. The top half was taken in June, 2017 and features a picture of the night sky above Lebanon, which is situated north of the equator. Meanwhile, the bottom half was taken six months later in an area south of the equator in latitude-opposite Chile. These two locations allowed the photographer to capture both halves of the Milky Way Galaxy. Habib then inverted the southern image and combined the two digitally to depict a unique view of our galaxy's entire plane as a circle.

For more astrophotography images, be sure to check out Maroun Habib's website.

Sources: Massimo (Twitter), NASA