NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day never fails to bring excitement to my day, and one of the latest pictures captures the beauty of the stars alongside the mythical legends of the native people of Uruguay. The picture was originally taken by photographer Fefo Bouvier, though line drawing was later added by Alfonso Rosso to capture the full spirit of the photo which shows the mythical bird Ñandú in the Milky Way’s band.
The image is absolutely stunning and was also shared on Bouvier’s Instagram, where you can see it for yourself. We’ve also included an embed of that Instagram post below. Bouvier explains how he worked with Alfonso Rosso to illustrate the full image of the mythical bird in the image, and even without the line work, it’s easy to see the Ñandú outlined by the stars of our galaxy’s band.
The image also features a silhouette of a statue of Maria Micaela Guyunusa, an indigenous woman of the Charrúa people who lived back in the 1800s. The statue stands as a symbol of the country’s colonial resistance. Set against the backdrop of Ñandú’s appearance in the sky, the statue looks even more regal than it already does.
Of course, seeing Ñandú’ outlined in the sky only adds to the mythical nature of this bird. The image was originally captured in mid-April while Bouvier was in Cabo Poloni, Uruguay. The water seen in the background meeting with the horizon is the Atlantic Ocean. As NASA breaks down in its posting of the photo, generations of people see the myths around these creatures, and being able to see those myths come to life in the night sky is inspiring.
As noted above, the picture is created about the central band of the Milky Way, which is often visible from Earth. Not only is that band beautiful in its own right, but this photo of the day just shows how much additional meaning it can have to skywatchers around the world.