Earth may be small in the grand scheme of things, but images like this serve as a reminder that, no matter how large or small our planet may seem, we are all part of it—and its beauty has no bounds.
This stunning image, captured by astrophotographer Shane Black (he is the 'blink and you'll miss it' figure in the bottom center of the frame), is a panorama that combines 23 individual frames. To ensure that the shutter collected as much light as possible, each shot lasted 15 second, increasing the overall detailedness of the image as a result.
Taken atop the Hawaiian mountain, Mauna Kea (where a whole host of land-based telescopes and observatories reside), on a warm summer night, it shows shows the Milky Way seamlessly blend with Mauna Loa—a Hawaiian shield volcano that happens to be one of the largest in the world.
In addition to the rocks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, another volcano peeks into the frame in the upper-left. Called Kilauea, a telltale orange glow emanates from it.
Providing further contrast are a few white fluffy clouds, yellow lights from civilization, a faint green patch of nightglow (a piece of the Sun that remains long after it leaves the sky), and zodiacal light.
Their presence may not be clear, but Neptune, Saturn, Mars and asteroid Vesta are also included.