Planning Your Milky Way Shot

There is perhaps nothing better than getting a great shot of the Milky Way.  With the Milky Way in your shot, you are almost guaranteed a great photo.  The cluster of stars gives you a ready-made center of interest for any picture.  Plus it is just cool.  And they are fun to take.

But if you just head out to the countryside on a random night in the hopes of capturing a Milky Way shot, there is about a 95% chance you will fail.  The Milky Way won’t even be visible.  It is only visible all night long for about 2 months a year.  Some months it isn’t visible at all, and in most months you’ll have to figure out when the cluster will be up.  In addition, even if it is up, it might not be visible.  In any given month, every night except for about 5 or 6 will be unsuitable because of the light of the moon.  That doesn’t leave a lot of chances.  And we haven’t even talked about the weather or light pollution yet.

How do you figure out good nights for going out and getting an awesome Milky Way shot?  This video will show you: