When Light Pollution Works in Your Favor

The skies over Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe ignite with light from the city below in this dazzling image of the Milky Way, captured by photographer Bill Currier.

Photo used by kind permission of Bill Currier

The photograph, titled "Fire in the Night Sky" was taken during a new moon the first week of October 2013 (ideal conditions for astrophotography). "My goal," he tells io9 in an e-mail, "was to capture the Milky Way shining in the black night sky around 11:30pm." But when he arrived at the shooting location, he feared the lights from South Lake Tahoe would have a negative impact on the outcome of the shot:

I was pretty concerned. Most times light pollution is a killer for star photography, but on this evening the position of the trees helped block some of the lights near the horizon. The light pollution added a nice touch without blocking out the stars.

And what a magnificent surprise the shot turned out to be!

For more of Currier's work, check out his website and 500px profile.