Milky Way Shines Over Iranian Heritage Site in Stunning Image

Milky Way from Pasargadae world heritage site in Iran
Amirreza Kamkar took this stunning image of the Milky Way from Pasargadae world heritage site, in Shiraz, Iran on August 13, 2015. (Image credit: Amirezza Kamkar)

While wondering if the ancient Achaemenid people in Iran looked up at the same night sky, astrophotographer Amirreza Kamkar took this stunning image of the Milky Way.

Kamkar took the image from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pasargadae, near the modern city of Shiraz, Iran, on August 13, 2015.

"The ancient atmosphere of the foreground, merged with the starry sky above it and thinking about how Achaemenid people were seeing the sky, [made] me feel good about the image," Kamkar wrote in an email to

The Milky Way galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy with roughly 400 billion stars, including the sun. The stars, along with gas and dust, appear like a band of light in the sky from Earth. The galaxy stretches between 100,000 to 120,000 light-years in diameter. At the center of our galaxy lies a gigantic black hole that is 4.5 million times the mass of the sun. 

Kamkar says his interest in astrophotography started in his own backyard.

"I was a kid with a interest to the night sky. I was living in a small city for 17 years and I could see the starry sky from my backyard," he wrote. "Now I am doing astrophotography for almost 6 years with a lifetime interest to the night sky."

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for She began writing and producing content for in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.