Using the Hubble space telescope, astronomers have captured a direct image of the disk surrounding a black hole. Among the brightest objects in the sky, quasars are short-lived phenomena that only existed during the earliest eras of the universe.
The photo above was taken onboard a high-altitude balloon flight (StratoSpera 3 — the Italian StratoSpera Project) above Tuscany, Italy on September 10, 2011. The altitude is 129,892 ft (39,591 m). This photo is perhaps the highest ever captured from a non-scientific balloon. Photograph Francesco Bonomi.
There are a set of statues, Ahu Akivi, in the center of the Easter island that represent the original explorers. I knew that the picture to make would be of those statues against the stars that the explorers would have used to navigate to and from the island. This picture ties a well known place in the Pacific to the ancient explorers and their ancient map, the night sky. Photographer Stephen Alvarez