Milky way and the Tree

Milky Way in Iceland

In Blog by admin42

From September when the nights get dark you can look for the Milky Way galaxy and try to capture it with your camera. Photographing the milky way is a good option when the northern lights are not visual or very weak. You need to have a dark night, no moon, clear sky and good distance from all light pollution from farms, town or cities. Usually my setting on the camera are for 30sec, f/2.8 and the lens as wide as possible and the ISO from 6400 till 12800.


The bridge crossing Hvita

The old and graceful bridge crossing Hvita in Borgarfjordur with Milky way, Aurora and Meteor in the background

Abandoned house and Milky way

A farm house, Fiskilaekur in Hvalfjordur and the milky way

The picture on the left was shoot in September 2015 in Borgarfjordur with the old and graceful bridge over the river Hvítá. During the shoot a meteor passed by and made it more interesting. I was using Canon 5DM3 and 16-35mm II lens. My set up for this picture was; ISO 12800, f/2.8 and 30sec.

The picture on the right was taken the same night infront of the abandoned farm “Fiskilækur” in Hvalfjordur. I used the parking light from my car to light up the farm. I was probably 200 meter away from the farm and I needed to dim the light on the farm afterwards in Lightroom. The settings where similar except that now the ISO was 6400.

Me and the Milky way

Selfie at the main road with milky way in the background

Pointing at Milky way at Thingvellir

My self pointing at the milky way at national park, Thingvellir

Here I am, myself playing around in on the left picture at the main road and on the other at Thingvellir. I used my headlight and pointed at the Milky Way, stood still for 30sec.

Milky way over Trees

Trees close to lava waterfall Hraunfossar in Borgarfjordur with milky way between them

The old shed and the Milky way

Old and rusty shed at Fiskilaekur with milky way in the sky

Some facts about the Milky Way

The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, about 100,000 light-years across. If you could look down on it from the top, you would see a central bulge surrounded by four large spiral arms that wrap around it. Spiral galaxies make up about two-third of the galaxies in the universe.

Unlike a regular spiral, a barred spiral contains a bar across its center region, and has two major arms. The Milky Way also contains two significant minor arms, as well as two smaller spurs. One of the spurs, known as the Orion Arm, contains the sun and the solar system. The Orion arm is located between two major arms, Perseus and Sagittarius.

Electric post and Milky way

Electric post in Hvalfjordur with milky way and aurora in the background

Old and rusty bridge with milky way

Laxarbakki in Hvalfjordur, the old bridge and milky way


The Milky Way does not sit still, but is constantly rotating. As such, the arms are moving through space. The sun and the solar system travel with them. The solar system travels at an average speed of 515,000 miles per hour (828,000 kilometers per hour). Even at this rapid speed, the solar system would take about 230 million years to travel all the way around the Milky Way.

Curled around the center of the galaxy, the spiral arms contain a high amount of dust and gas. New stars are constantly formed within the arms. These arms are contained in what is called the disk of the galaxy. It is only about 1,000 light-years thick.

Pano and reflection of Milky way and Aurora

Panorama at Snæfellsnes peninsula with milky way and aurora