The photo is of Scorpius, a constellation, and was taken with a good camera, a dark sky, and some sophisticated image processing.
The photo shows the vast clouds of bright stars and long filaments of dark and intricate dust in the Milky Way Galaxy. It also shows the dark dust bands known as the Dark River. The bright stars on the left are part of Scorpius' head and claws, and include the bright star Antares. The photo also shows numerous red emission nebulas, blue reflection nebulas, and dark filaments.
The photo was featured in the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Artists: Stefan Lenz.
Stefan Lenz is a PhD-physicist who did fundamental reseach at CERN and Jülich, a professional photographer and a skilled astophotographer. Fascinated by the stars and astrophysics from early childhood on.
Stefan lives his passion and desire in many different ways: explaining children and teenagers at school the solar system and the miracles of the universe, spending nights outside watching shooting stars, while putting up the travel dobson to show interested folks the wonders of the galaxy. Or riding the racing bike all through a clear milkyway-lit summer-night - one of his alltime favourites.
Astrophotography is a different approach to creation for him. Namibia, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Canary Islands and Scotland are among his favourite places where he collects the light for his art. Most of his pictures can tell a unique story of how they were done and why, like the time in which he was forced to the balcony by the curfew during the pandemic, what resulted in a new fascination of what is feasable even at bortle 8 skies.
Nevertheless, it are the darkest places on Earth where he loves to be. And there always must be time for just looking up with the naked eyes - while the cameras and all equipment keep humming and buzzing, making these comforting noises that feel like home, thousands of miles away.