For geeks: Taken on a Nikon D610, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8, ISO 3200, 20 second exposure

WHEN YOU LOOK into the Milky Way (near the southern horizon this time of year) you’re looking into a “haze” caused by your eyes’ misperception of literally billions of points of light, each a star potentially circled by worlds like our own. At the center of of that haze lies a supermassive black hole, at least 4 million times the mass of our sun, trillions of miles away. I took this photo last night in a pretty remote area west of Colorado Springs, CO, USA.

I’m a fan of challenging our perspectives, personal and collective. These terms (millions, billions, trillions) are really just incomprehensible. They’re completely foreign to our daily lives. For me, pictures like this and the thought they invoke have the power to change perspective—from that standard, normal, tired, daily frontal-lobe insularity to a felt understanding of something greater: beautiful insignificance; attachment, connection to so much more.

Will Burcher is a former police officer and current author of “The GAIAD,” a story of ancient secrets not quite forgotten and the positive power of global perspective. He lives and works in Colorado, USA.

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