As a photographer, you can understand that time plays a vital role in capturing a correct milky way shot. Picking a correct time is one of the essential milky way photography tips, which is why we have come up with the following time stamps that can help you pick the right time:
Moonlight is another critical element in determining the best night to view the Milky Way.
This is easy to do:
- Moon phase: Although the moon may sometimes illuminate the landscape, too many lights from the moon will dramatically reduce the Milky Way visibility. I find that 30% to 30% of the illumination from the moon is too much for me to see the Milky Way.
- Moonrise/Moonset: Even though there is a full moon, it won’t impact your Milky Way visibility if the moon is below the horizon. If the light coming from the moon is too bright, check the times when the moon rises or sets.
A Moon Light world map such as this will show you the current moon phase at your location.
Milky Way Visibility
The Milky Way visibility is the most crucial factor when trying to see it at night with no moon or new/crescent Moon. Like other astronomical objects in the sky, the visibility of our galaxy can be seen for a specific time. This will vary depending on where you are uncovered and what season it is.
- November through January: The Galactic Center of the Milky Way cannot be seen at all from November through January
- February through June: The Milky Way can be seen in the early mornings from February through June
- July through August: The Milky Way can be seen in the middle of the night from July through August
- September through October: You can see the Milky Way scene in the evenings