Prior to writing this, I had no idea that it was even possible to photograph the Milky Way.
But now I have learned that not only is it possible, but that the Milky Way is a very popular photography subject.

It's a stunning subject to photograph because it contains billions of stars and other celestial objects that are too distant to see with the naked eye.

Capturing the Milky Way on film is actually a glimpse into the wonders of our galaxy. Now, how to do it, and where?

There are hundreds of websites giving people instructions on how to photograph the Milky Way. What kind of cameras, lenses, etc.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images,
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images,

Another reason why the Milky Way is so fascinating to photograph is that it changes appearance depending on the time of year and the location from which it is viewed. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Milky Way is best observed during the summer months, while in the Southern Hemisphere, it is most visible during the winter.

That’s why NJspots decided to compile a list of dates that are best to capture a shot here in the Garden State! They also give you an idea of the best geographical locations from which to see or shoot the Milky Way.

In general, the further you are away from big cities and civilization the easier it is to get a good view because light pollution can really obscure your view. Also, nights when a new moon has just started make it easier to see.

Photo by Bill Ingalls/ NASA via Getty Images
Photo by Bill Ingalls/ NASA via Getty Images

According to, here are the best dates and times when the Milky Way and the galactic center will be visible for the longest in the NJ sky.

April 15-29

The official start of the Milky Way season. This is when you can see the milky way around midnight for several hours.


May 13-27

Milky Way shows around 10-11:00 and because this is before summer, the lack of pollution can make it even more visible.


June 10-24

You can start shooting around 11 PM. This is when you will get the best vertical position of the center of the Milky Way.


August 8-22

Milky Way will appear around 11 PM and the center can be seen for over four hours, but because of the pollution look for less populated, darker areas (like in the countryside) for the best view.


August 5-19

If you don’t like the idea of staying up late, this period of time is great for you because the Milky Way shows itself by around 10 PM, although there will be less total visibility time.

For more info on how to pick your viewing spots check out their map.

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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