Faint Dark Bands in the Evening Sky

Question:  Tonight I noticed in the bright evening sky (9pm) over Aberdeenshire a number of faint black bands running across the sky and converging towards the horizon, in a due south direction. They show up very clearly on the photos I have taken and I wonder what is causing them. Many thanks.  — Sarah

Answer:  Since you were looking toward the south around the time when the Milky Way was rising, I wonder if you were seeing the dust bands projected against the higher density of stars in the direction of the disk of our Milky Way Galaxy?  If you want to see what the Milky Way looks like from quite a variety of perspectives, check out the Space.com gallery of Milky Way photos.

Jeff Mangum

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