Milky Way on Mesquite Tree

Milky Way on Mesquite Tree (Astro Photography)

The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System. Its name "milky" is derived from its appearance as a dim glowing band arching across the night sky in which the naked eye cannot distinguish individual stars. The term "Milky Way" is a translation of the Latin via lactea. From Earth, the Milky Way appears as a band because its disk-shaped structure is viewed from within. Galileo Galilei first resolved the band of light into individual stars with his telescope in 1610. Up until the early 1920s, most astronomers thought that all of the stars in the universe were contained inside of the Milky Way. Following the 1920 Great Debate between the astronomers Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis,observations by Edwin Hubble definitively showed that the Milky Way is just one of many—now known to be billions—of galaxies.

Mesquite  is a common name for several species of leguminous plants of the Prosopis genus found in northern Mexico through the Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Deserts, and up into the Southwestern United States as far north as southern Kansas, west to the Colorado Desert in California, and east to the eastern fifth of Texas, where average annual rainfall is more than 101 cm (40 in). Several species are found in arid to semi-arid regions of southern and western South America

These deciduous trees can reach a height of 6 to 9 m (20 to 30 ft) although in most of their range they are shrub size. They have narrow, bipinnately compound leaves 50 to 75 mm (2.0 to 3.0 in) long, of which the pinnules are sharply pointed. Twigs have a characteristic zig-zag form. Some common species of mesquite are honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), Prosopis juliflora, velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina), creeping mesquite (Prosopis strombulifera), and screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens). New growth of mesquite has needle-sharp thorns up to 75 mm (3.0 in) long. The spines are tough enough to penetrate the soft soles of sneakers or similar footwear, and can easily puncture tires.

When they grow big, eventually the die leaving a fine curvaceous dry tree, which is used to smoke, chicken and meat for its distinct flavor.

This image is best seen at night with other lights turned off to reduce noise pollution.

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