It may look like a Martian landscape but these stunning pictures are actually of the Milky Way, taken from the Snowdonia National Park in Wales .
Photographer Carl Jones was determined to prove the British skies could offer crystal clear views of the phenomena – even in the depths of winter.
Braving a freezing night by Lake Dywarchen, near Ffestiniog, Jones set up his camera and tripod and waited for the perfect shot.
The beautiful scenes were slowly captured over the course of an hour using a Nikon D700 camera and a 14mm lens.
Although the images appear to capture a spectrum of colours, a team of scientists recently determined the true colour of the galaxy to be white as snow.
Astronomers from the University of Pittsburg announced the findings after making comparisons between star types in other galaxies.
They used the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to examine the properties of nearly a million galaxies and the rate at which new stars are being born – all of which are factors which relate to the overall colour of a galaxy.
Professor Jeffrey Newman and graduate student Timothy Licquia then used the average colour of similar galaxies to infer the colour of the Milky Way.
Professor Newman told the BBC: “The best description I can give would be that if you looked at new spring snow, which has a fine grain size, about an hour after dawn or an hour before sunset, you’d see the same spectrum of light that an alien astronomer in another galaxy would see looking at the Milky Way.”
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