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 Space.com.
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."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.