Photo of the day: Amazing images of the Milky Way

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Amazing new photographs of the Milky Way have been captured by an amateur photographer who travelled 1,400 miles to capture the image.

The images show the cluster of stars and multi-coloured light in the skies above Devil's Tower in Wyoming, famous around the world as a set for Steven Spielberg's film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Eric Hines, 20, took this picture of the galaxy's band of light on Monday.

The crystal-clear result shows the Milky Way's galactic plane, which is made up of billions of stars and planets.

Mr Hines, who has only been taking photographs for 18 months, said: 'The Milky Way has been something that I've wanted to photograph since I first started shooting.

'The results are something I'm definitely proud of.'

Try a spot of stargazing yourself with our editor's picks of the best places to sleep under the skies...


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Sleep under the stars

Much as we love staycationing, the good old British weather can really put a spanner in the works when it comes to sleeping totally al fresco. After a day of surfing at Widmouth Bay or walking on Bodmin Moor, hole up in his stylish bubble and listen to the rain pelt down while you watch the sun set over the hills, cosy from the heat of the wood burning stove. Book through Canopy & Stars.

Sleep under the stars

If you prefer your stargazing from a position of ultimate comfort and luxury, the Honey Room at this lakeside Relais et Chateaux hotel is for you. Recline on your four poster bed, press a button and hey presto, the cabriolet roof slides back to reveal a starlit sky. If you stay during the annual Perseid meteor shower, legend has it that for every falling star you see, a wish will be granted. Book through L'Albereta.

Sleep under the stars

Make like a cowboy and saddle up for a night under the stars on the remote reservation lands of the Crow Tribe in Montana, aka the 'Big Sky Country'. After a traditional Native American cookout, hunker down with a bedroll and sleeping bag – and pray you don't wake up walking like John Wayne...Book through Ranch Rider.

Sleep under the stars

'Star beds', which can be rolled out onto outdoor sleeping platforms, are all the rage in the most exclusive safari destinations, but at this small luxury camp, the bathing's alfresco too. After a night drive in the Okavango Delta, you'll return to find a free-standing zinc bath has magically appeared on your candlelit viewing deck. Book through Sanctuary Retreats.

Sleep under the stars

Far north of the Arctic Circle, it's not just the stars that provide a nocturnal display but the mystical Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. The unique geodesic glass igloos at this Lapland hotel are made from frost-free thermal glass, providing a 360 degree view and ambient temperatures, even when it's -30 c outside. Book through Black Tomato.

Sleep under the stars

Head far out to sea for the least light polluted skies in the world. Charter a yacht in the Caribbean with www.sunsail.co.uk and you're guaranteed balmy evenings, warm enough to drift off to sleep on deck with the constellations as your ceiling.

Sleep under the stars

The stars are different down under and what better place to become acquainted with The Southern Cross, the 'Pointer Stars' and the South Pole Star than from a traditional bushman's swag (a kind of waterproof bedroll)? A four day walking safari through the Flinders Ranges will bring you up close and personal with native wildlife and stunning outback scenery, with three nights spent under the night sky in a luxury swag complete with cotton sheets and a thick mattress. Book through Arkaba Walking Safaris.

Sleep under the stars

IThe remote Elqui Valley attracts astronomers from all over the world. If your cosmology knowledge is a little rusty, attend a talk by the resident astronomer before retiring to one of Elqui Domos' seven canvas domes with nifty removable roofs through which to gaze up at the heavens. Book through Journey Latin America.

Sleep under the stars

Also known as the 'Valley of the Moon', this desert area is home to the Zalabia Bedouin, who traditionally sleep in tents made of goat hair. Follow a guided tour on camel or horseback, or hike out into the silence with nothing but a sleeping bag and roll up mattress. Tours with www.gapadventures.co.uk include desert camping, as well as trips to Petra and the Red Sea.

Sleep under the stars

If you prefer to go it alone and experience some proper wild camping in one of the most remote and spectacular spots in Britain, head up to Sandwood Bay, on the far north west coast of Scotland. The nearest road is four miles away, so pack light. You may be lucky enough to spot dolphins, the ghost of a shipwrecked mariner and mermaids. You will definitely spot stars - and midges - in their millions. To plan a trip to Scotland, visit Visit Scotland.

Sleep under the stars




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