Yes, you can see the Milky Way
California Milky Way
California Milky Way Season
If you travel or live in California and you have not studied the night sky it can be overwhelming to know when is the right time to get out and see the Milky Way Galaxy with the naked eye or to create stunning photographs. There are many factors to consider before entering into the night. The Milky Way it’s not bright, and it’s not always well placed to be seen, to see it you will have to use today’s technology.
Fortunately, there are some great tools to help you find a dark place in California, the first useful is the light pollution map and the second is Photographer’s Ephemeris. Use these tools to find the best place.
Select a Proper Time
Have any trip planned for December and hope to capture the Milky Way? You will be surely very disappointed. In the northern hemisphere, the Milky Way is well below the horizon at night in December and January.
Below you can find the best times to photograph or see the Milky Way Galaxy with it’s 3 different shapes: The “Arc”, “Typical”, and “Vertical”.
|MONTH||MILKY WAY RISES||MILKY WAY SETS||ARC||TYPICAL||VERTICAL|
|FEBRUARY||4:00 AM||5:30 AM (AD)||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|MARCH||3:00 AM||5:45 AM (AD)||4:30 AM||N/A||N/A|
|APRIL||1:00 AM||4:45 AM (AD)||2:00 AM||3:30 AM||N/A|
|MAY||11:00 PM||4:00 AM (AD)||12:30 AM||2:00 AM||N/A|
|JUNE||10:30 PM (AD)||3:30 AM (AD)||10:30 PM||11:30 PM||3:30 AM (AD)|
|JULY||10:30 PM (AD)||3:45 AM (AD)||N/A||10:30 PM||2:00 AM|
|AUGUST||9:30 PM (AD)||1:30 AM||N/A||9:30 PM (AD)||12:00 AM|
|SEPTEMBER||8:30 PM (AD)||11:30 PM||N/A||8:30 PM (AD)||9:30 PM|
|OCTOBER||8:00 PM (AD)||9:30 PM||N/A||N/A||8:00 PM (AD)|
AD - Astronomical Dusk (Full darkness or the beginning of light)
Select a Location
Here is a list of some places in California to view the Milky Way:
- Death Valley National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- Alabama Hills
- Big Sur
- Kings Canyon National Park
For other location around the world check these places to see the Milky Way Galaxy.