Space wallpapers have something overwhelming, mysterious and somehow enigmatic. They illustrate something which is too far away to be observed and provide us with some insights we wouldn’t be able to gain otherwise. In fact, space wallpapers can be extremely beautiful and hence extremely attractive to our eye. And this is a good reason for putting them on the desktop where “cosmic” motifs can serve as a fresh perspective in the tiresome daily routine.
This post presents over 35 space and nebula wallpapers and related resources. Some of the presented wallpapers are real photos, some of them have been created using Photoshop or Illustrator. In either case the result is pretty impressive and definitely worth a look if you are looking for some “cosmic” inspiration out there.
Just to clarify: according to Wikipedia, a nebula (from Latin: “mist”) is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas and plasma. It is the first stage of a star’s cycle. In these regions the formations of gas, dust and other materials ‘clump’ together to form larger masses, which attract further matter, and eventually will become big enough to form stars. The remaining materials are then believed to form planets, and other planetary system objects.
Nebula and Space Wallpapers
Psimis 24-1 is the core of the nebula NGC 6357. Well, nice to know. Source: NASA.
Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula (M16)
Appearing like a winged fairy-tale creature poised on a pedestal, this object is actually a billowing tower of cold gas and dust rising from a stellar nursery called the Eagle Nebula. The soaring tower is 9.5 light-years or about 90 trillion kilometres high, about twice the distance from our Sun to the next nearest star. Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).
Preiades Star Cluster
A set of wallpapers from Crestock: together with 12 further wallpapers, this one is available in 8 resolutions. Both wide screen and full screen versions are available for free download.
Red Square Nebula
A symmetric bipolar nebula around MWC 922. Source: Caltech Palomar Observatory. Resolution: 1680×1050.
The Horsehead Nebula
Photo by Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA/NASA).
Greg Martin has some beautiful designs and illustrations related to cosmic motifs. In various resolutions.
Wallcoo Space Art
60 high-resolution wallpapers illustrating space.
The Orion Nebula
This picture shows the great nebula in the constellation of Orion the Hunter. It is probably the most spectacular of all the objects cataloged by Charles Messier and now called by their `M’ numbers. M42 had been known since the beginnings of recorded astronomy as a star, but it is so outstanding that it was first noted as an extended nebula in 1610, only a year after Galileo’s first use of the telescope. Detailed descriptions started appearing later in the seventeenth century, and it has been a popular target for anyone with a telescope ever since.
The growing collection of astronomy-related wallpapers: planets, galaxies and space in high-resolution-wallpapers: 1440×900, 1680×1050 and 2560×1600. Wallpapers for iPhone are available as well. Please get to know them: Neptune, Sun, Jupiter.
M16 – Eagle Nebula Close
“Appearing like a winged fairy-tale creature poised on a pedestal, this object is actually a billowing tower of cold gas and dust rising from a stellar nursery called the Eagle Nebula”.
“I tried to combine two of my favorited styles – the detailed one with realistic planet surfaces and the colorful nebulae “WTF?” style. Here is the outcome.” Available in 1024×768, 1280×960, 1280×1024, 1400×1050, 1600×1200, 1680×1050.
“An odd silence resumes after the inexplicable shattering of the universal space continuum; it is during this odd silence, after the shock felt throughout the entire universe, that it becomes evident that a rift has formed, the two realms collaborate in a splash of light & colour, like a dream & yet so real are the liquescent forms of light – it is unlike anything of this realm, as if a pure bliss is breaking through the darkness” Created by j4m3sb0nd.
Available in resolutions 1024×768, 1152×864, 1280×1024, 1600×1200, 1920×1440, 1280×800, 1440×900, 1680×1050 and 1920×1200.
Out with the Lion, In with the Lamb
“This was the scene after one of the hardest hitting storms I’ve ever been in.”
Sources and Resources
- Space wallpapers
offers probably the largest selection of free high quality space wallpapers for your desktop and Playstation Portable.
- NASA Wallpapers
NASA site has collections of real stars and nebulas wallpapers in various resolutions.
- Inspiration: Stars, Planets and Galaxies
This article will have you grabbing a telescope or heading over to NASA. Learn about the recent rage in space style effects in design. Take a look at artists that have been working in this field long before Apple branded Leopard with such cool space imagery and lighting effects.