The Milky Way sparkles like fireworks in this desert view of our galaxy (pictured)

    glowing arch of the milky way over a desert landscape with stars

glowing arch of the milky way over a desert landscape with stars

the milky way shines in the sky above a desert

the milky way shines in the sky above a desert

Miguel Claro is a professional photographer, author and science communicator based in Lisbon, Portugal who creates spectacular images of the night sky. Like a European Southern Observatory Photo Ambassador and member of The world at night and the official astrophotographer of Alqueva Dark Sky Reservehe specializes in astronomical “Skyscapes” that connect both Earth and the night sky.

Join Miguel here as he introduces us to his new image, “Zodiacal Light with Mars and Jupiter in the Pristine Sky of Iran’s Lut Desert”.

This is a panoramic image of unique shots taken against a magical pristine sky.

The image shows the arch of the Milky Way shining above the Lut (Dasht-e Lut) desert in Kerman, Iran, minutes before nautical twilight begins and stars become very visible in the sky.

Related: Milky Way: everything you need to know about our cosmic neighborhood
Learn more:
“Ghost stars” haunt the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Now we know why

You may see a faint trail of cosmic dust from zodiacal light, or sunlight reflecting off interplanetary dust. The light was visible near Mars and Jupiter, shining together near the horizon, along the ecliptic plane or path of the planets.

The background sky features a smooth greenish tint from airglow, which is light reflected from our Earth’s atmosphere into the night sky.


A Celestron telescope on a white background

A Celestron telescope on a white background

Are you looking for a telescope? We recommend the Celestron Astro Fi 102 as the top pick in our best beginner telescope guide.

You can also see the largest galaxy closest to Earth, called the Andromeda Galaxy. It’s the faint oblong shape visible above the rocky peaks on the left side, near the start of the Milky Way.

Modern Iran, which today is a restrictive fundamentalist state, was the focus of astronomical research in medieval times.

Ready to explore celestial phenomena with dazzling gear? Check out our guides to the best telescopes and the best binoculars. You can also prepare your imaging equipment using the best cameras for astrophotography and the best lenses for astrophotography.

To learn more about Miguel Claro’s work, please visit his website or follow his stories on Instagram at

Editor’s note: If you take your own photos of the sky and want to share them with readers, send your photos, comments, name and location to

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