I read on Wikipedia:

depending on the time of night and the year, the arc of Milky Way can appear relatively low or relatively high in the sky. For observers from about 65 degrees north to 65 degrees south on the Earth's surface the Milky Way passes directly overhead twice a day

What happens and how does the Milky Way look like out of that range? If it matters, consider also the all-summer light and the dark winter.

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    $\begingroup$ This may be helpful for you (see the map of the disk of the Milky Way): astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/842/… $\endgroup$ – astromax Dec 18 '13 at 4:52
  • $\begingroup$ @astromax does that picture change among seasons? $\endgroup$ – Niccolò Dec 19 '13 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ Well the portion of the sky that you see changes with the season, but other than that it doesn't change (on time scales that we really care about). $\endgroup$ – astromax Dec 19 '13 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ @astromax because at polar regions seasons really matters (you won't see any star all over the summer). Can you maybe link or post the same picture for the different seasons? That would be great! $\endgroup$ – Niccolò Dec 20 '13 at 15:23

On midnight, right around this time of year, the Milky Way will be in the zenith. Here is an XEphem rendering for the north of finland (65th latitude) for yesterday midnight (the brown outline marks the Milky Way):

Sky map for 65th latitude including milky way

You can also see this on photographs by finnish photographer Tommy Eliassen. He has many examples of this on his website. I won't put any in here, because I guess they are copyrighted, and not free to use.

This is an animated 24 hour version of the above sky map, which shows the rotation of the milkyway around the zenith:

Animated sky map including the milky way, 24 hours.

  • $\begingroup$ Can you help me to read the map? I am not use to it. What I intuitively understand is that Milky Way is cutting the sky from North-East to South-West, right? So the difference with lower latitudes is that it kind of rotates instead of passing twice per day. That seems to contradict Michael post.. Would you say polar regions are good to observe the Milky way? $\endgroup$ – Niccolò Dec 19 '13 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ The map shows the sky above you. Easiest to understand if you lie down on the ground, head facing north and then holding the map in front of you. The zenith is in the middle of the map, north is where polaris is (i.e. top part of the map). East and west are reversed, because its an overhead map. So west is right, and east is left. $\endgroup$ – Arne Dec 19 '13 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, yes, like I did! So it does contradict Micheal, the Milky Way looks high in the sky.. Hum... $\endgroup$ – Niccolò Dec 19 '13 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ I've added a 24 hour animation to my answer, which shows the rotation. $\endgroup$ – Arne Dec 19 '13 at 20:46
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. If you think this answers your question, you may accept the answer. $\endgroup$ – Arne Dec 20 '13 at 21:59

Outside of this range you are close to the poles of our planet. The milky way will be low on the horizon and hard to see.

  • $\begingroup$ I was inclined to think the same, but for what the pictures of @astromax and Arne it seems it not so low. Or am I wrong? $\endgroup$ – Niccolò Dec 19 '13 at 19:26

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