Milky Way Over OBX

During our trip down to the Outer Banks last week, I took off at 2 AM for an isolated spot of the beach on Cape Hatteras, just south of Salvo, NC. The moon was bright and up much of the night during our entire trip, so it wasn’t ideal for dark skies, despite the fact that much of Hatteras is nearly free of the light pollution that plagues most of the east coast. Waiting until after the moon set around 2:30 this particular morning meant that the brightest part of the Milky Way—the central bulge that passes through Saggitarius—had already set below the horizon, but it was still an impressive view of the sky. Some light near the horizon is visible from towns north of the area, but overall it was noticeably darker than my usual rural “green” location.