Milky Way over Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, Portugal
© Daniel Garrido/Getty Image
A rainbow's nocturnal cousin. Fall Astronomy Week
The Milky Way has billions of stars; among them, our own sun finds its place. The galaxy's name is derived from the radiant, pale appearance of the band of stars and gas clouds that graces Earth's sky. Methodical observations of the night sky started with early civilizations but astronomy, the oldest natural science, remains a source of fascination today. It's what brings stargazers to Portugal's Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, a site free from heavy light pollution. Now's a good time to seek out your own celestial spectacle, as it is Astronomy Week and the main event, Saturday's Fall Astronomy Day, this year coincides with the autumnal equinox.