I am planing to shoot a photo of milky way at the end of September.

Location is set - a place with least Light Pollution

I have also checked moon status(moon rise and set)

All of it is fine except I cannot figure out a way to find the position of Milky way.

So my question is during months of September-October is it possible to see/photograph the milky way from Northern Hemisphere?

How can I figure out the position of milky way beforehand?

I am from India if that is of any help


3 Answers 3


If I understand correctly what you're asking: just get to the site and look up. The Milky Way is bright enough to see with the naked eye when light pollution is low.

You can also use something like Sky Map, which is an Android app, though I'm sure equivalents exist for the iPhone if you prefer that. Hold up your phone and the screen shows what stars and celestial objects, including the Milky Way, are in the part of the sky where the phone camera is pointing. (Note that the app doesn't actually use the phone camera; it uses GPS and the accelerometer to determine where it is and which way it's pointing, and calculates what should be visible based on that.)

If you want to be more prepared, you can use planetarium software such as Stellarium to render in advance a view of the night sky as it will appear at your photo site (assuming clear skies). You can set any date/time and any location on Earth. The software will also show you the position of the horizon and the cardinal directions, if you find those useful in matching up what you see in reality to what you see in the program.


Davids answer is best, but as part of your research, just Google: Milky Way September (or substitute October). Lots of articles. October is getting late, but Sept should work. The galactic center in Sagittarius and Scorpius will be low in the South West then. But also, the winter Milky Way near Orion will be rising and available, higher in November (or wait a couple of hours). And don't miss Andromeda in the North East, under Cassiopeia.


I just finished reading a wonderful step-by-step article, "How To Shoot Truly Contagious Milky Way Pictures" by Antoni Cladera

In addition to equipment tips, examples, and insight, is a Milky Way planner, links to other helpful articles, and checklists.

The "PhotoPills Planner" will allow you to pre-determine the position of the Milky Way exactly. There is even a night AR (Augmented Reality) App to help you. The densest part of the Milky Way is the westernmost part of the constellation Sagittarius (the archer.)

Among the planning guidance is when the Milky Way core is optimal for placement in the composition at nighttime. According to the article, the core is visible for nighttime photography from March to October with the best time from late April to late July. Forget about it from November to February because you won't see it. (It is well illustrated.)

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