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16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Earth, Humankind, and the Heavens

This image contrasts the stunningly austere volcanic rock formation, Cabezon Peak, with the rising Milky Way galactic core and the distant glowing lights of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM. The massive peak ultimately owes its existence to the unimaginably more expansive galactic engine-of-creation looming above it. Meanwhile, the ominous, creeping intrusion of modern civilization into the natural world is evident, obscuring and ultimately modifying that cosmic relationship to some extent.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2018
Date Uploaded: 07.2018
Photo Location: San Luis, New Mexico, United States of America
Camera: NIKON D810
Copyright: © Paul Schmit