A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2017 Dec 23, 16:57 -0800
Peter, you wrote:
"Do you have this image in a higher-quality format?"
I don't. A larger version was the bing.com background wallpaper a few days ago, and I grabbed about half of the image for this puzzle --at the full resolution available.
"Incidentally, I wonder if this image is a composite."
Yes, could be... but I would say that if that's the case, then it's a realistic composite. The sky hasn't been dropped in from some other source. Also, it doesn't really reach that deep. This section of the Milky Way is dense with stars, and the limiting magnitude is not much beyond 7. With today's fast, high-end digital sensors, that doesn't take much of an exposure.
A little bouncing around in Google Image search led me to the photographer's website. He is Adam Woodworth. I didn't see a higher resolution image there, but I did notice that the url for this specific image has the word "composite" in it. He's got lots of other nice Milky Way images and apparently teaches other photographers how to shoot photos like these.