Twit Twoo… How many owls can you spot? A tiny owlet is almost invisible at first glance as it blends into the feathers of its mother. Even wildlife photographer Marina Scarr only realised she had taken pictures of two owls after she looked at the image on her camera while taking pictures in Desoto Park, Florida. Photograph: Marina Scarr/Caters News Agency

Taken from picture desk live: follow the best news pictures of the day from conflict-stricken regions to the lighter side of life chosen by the Guardian’s award-winning picture team

This person has a big heart, making his mark at the International Kite Festival in Mumbai, India. Follow Monday’s best news images as they come in. Photograph: Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Big picture: Starlings, by Paolo Patrizi

Each week, the Guardian Weekend magazine’s editorial team choose a picture, or set of pictures, that particularly tickle their fancy. This week, their choice is Paolo Patrizi’s photographs of starlings

Photograph: Paolo Patrizi

An international team of astronomers has created a vast, zoomable image of some nine billion pixels showing more than 84 million stars in the central ‘bulge’ of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. The image is so large that, if printed at the resolution of a picture in an ordinary book it would be 9 metres wide and 7 metres high. Click on the picture to see the image zoomed in

Photographer: ESO

Six of the best picture books

Whether you like owls, wolves or pirates - there’s a picture book for you on the Waterstones prize shortlist

I Don’t Want to be a Pea! by Ann Bonwill & Simon Rickerty (Oxford University Press)
Hugo and Bella are off to a fancy-dress party but there’s just one problem - Hugo wants to go as the Princess and the Pea and Bella doesn’t want to be a pea. She’d prefer to be a mermaid. How will they sort it out in time for the party?

Bad Santa

We asked for your best pictures of bad Santas with miserable kids – and, well, some of your pictures were a sight to behold. See the rest here. Keep them coming! Send submissions to

Eyewitness: Ground Zero, New York

The One World Trade Centre soars above the 9/11 memorial. It will have 105 floors and be 1,776ft tall, a reference to the year of the Declaration of Independence
Photograph: Lucas Jackson