A selection of Professor Robert Vanderbei's photos, highlighted in a recent National Geographic book on the universe.

Robert J. Vanderbei, the chairman of Princeton’s Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering and an amateur astronomer, takes pictures of objects in the sky from his backyard using telescopes, digital cameras, and a computer. Many of those stunning photographs are featured in Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective (National Geographic), which Vanderbei co-wrote with J. Richard Gott *73, a professor of astrophysics at Princeton. Vanderbei’s photographs of astronomical objects “rival the best images taken from observatories,” wrote Gott in the book’s preface. Here is a sampling of those photos from the book, reprinted with permission of National Geographic.