Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Milky Way's Disappearing Act from Washington / Oregon Coast

Published 05/09/21 at 6:45 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Milky Way's Disappearing Act from Washington / Oregon Coast

(Manzanita, Oregon) – If you're wondering where is the Milky Way these days – er, nights – there's good reason. It's largely gone from Oregon and Washington skies, including those on the coastlines of both states. (Above: weird neon glow, ocean mists and the stars at Lincoln City)

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials in winter
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some specials for winter
In Lincoln City:
Some specials for winter
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Newport:
Look for some specials
In Waldport
Some specials for winter
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials for winter
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

Looking up from the beaches of the Oregon coast or Washington coast will yield the surprising sight that the rest of the galaxy has vanished, leaving plenty of stars but not that captivating stretch of hazy, cosmic mass. That, according to OMSI astronomer Jim Todd, is because May always sees the disk of our Milky Way galaxy lying flat, nearly parallel to the plane of your horizon.

“On May evenings before midnight, the equator of the Milky Way circles the rim of the horizon, with the North Galactic Pole standing high overhead in the constellation Coma Berenices, or Berenice's Hair,” Todd said. “In this direction, where the glare and the dust of the Milky Way are minimal, the sky beckons you to look at the deep-sky objects beyond the Milky Way.”

Todd said if you're looking at it from the North Galactic Pole (a way of viewing the galaxy through imaginary coordinate-like lines), the Sun and the solar system essentially revolve clockwise around the center of our Milky Way galaxy – or the nucleus, as Todd called it.

“The galactic plane is the plane in which the majority of a disk-shaped galaxy's mass lies,” Todd said. “The directions perpendicular to the galactic plane point to the galactic poles. Most often, in actual usage, the terms 'galactic plane' and 'galactic poles' are used to refer specifically to the plane and poles of the Milky Way, which is the galaxy in which the Earth is located.”

So far now, the Milky Way is skirting the rim of our horizon on May nights, which means you could theoretically spot more of it looking to the edge of the ocean from the Oregon and Washington coast after dark, depending where it winds up.

Todd said all this indicative of the year being about halfway between the March equinox and June solstice.


The Milky Way above Cannon Beach: this shot, taken during late summer, shows the galaxy looming above the northern Oregon coast in full splendor. MORE PHOTOS BELOW, including star map

Oregon Coast Hotels for this event - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


MORE PHOTOS BELOW







Cape Foulweather

Cannon Beach with no Milky Way

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 



Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Pacific City's Dory Days Give N. Oregon Coast a Kick in July
July 19 - 21 annual Dory Days Festival in various parts of Pacific City. Pacific City events
Lincoln City Pride Fest Causes Glow and Glitter in Oregon Coast Burgh
June 29 a family-friendly festival of riotous fun. Lincoln City events
Summer Solstice, Sunset Past 9 pm for Oregon / Washington Coast
Summer's official launch on Thursday, June 20. Astronomy, sciences
Central Oregon Coast Delays: Beverly Beach Reopening Pushed Back a Month
Some extensive remodeling and upgrades this year. Newport, Depoe Bay, Waldport
Rescue in Seaside: Officials Remind Public of Oregon Coast Rip Current Dangers
Also on the scene was a U.S. Coastguard helicopter. Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Astoria
Ethereal Thing at the Other End of Sunset You Don't Know About: Odd Oregon Co...
It dried up tourism and brought patrols to beaches. History, Seaside, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Florence, Coos Bay, Brookings
Accessibility Oregon Coast: More in Lincoln City, Gold Beach, Seaside, Rockaw...
Mobi-mats, sidewalks, wheelchairs, more. Weather
In Manzanita, Susan's Beach Cottage is Elder Oregon Coast Statesman with a Mo...
One vacation rental no one seems to know about. Manzanita hotel reviews, Oregon coast lodging news

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted