Stunning Space Photography

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Space has many beautiful mysteries hidden inside. Many people have tried and are still trying to uncover those mysteries. In this inspirational post, we present beautiful photographs from space explorations: nebulas, comets, stars, planets, etc. Hopefully, these beauties will inspire you to create beautiful artwork, Web designs, graphics, wallpaper, illustrations, etc. All of the images are linked to their sources. Click on them to get the high-resolution versions.

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Beauties in the Outer Space

Messier 1043
Messier 104, known as the Sombrero Galaxy, is one of the most popular sights in the universe. This floating ring is the size of a galaxy. In fact, it is part of the photogenic Sombrero Galaxy, one of the largest galaxies in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. The dark band of dust that obscures the mid-section of the Sombrero Galaxy in optical light actually glows brightly in infrared light. The Sombrero Galaxy, also known as M104, spans about 50,000 light years across and lies 28 million light years away.

Screenshot4

Hoag’s Object5
Despite the vagueness of its name, “Hoag’s Object” galaxy is known to have some rare and inexplicable traits, not the least of which is the “halo” of stars surrounding its core.

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NASA – Bursting with Stars7
The most active star-forming galaxy in the distant universe, nicknamed the “Baby Boom” galaxy, loosely resembles the galaxy shown here, called Zw II 96. While Zw II 96 is located about 500 million light-years away, Baby Boom lies 12.3 billion light-years away and appears in images as only a smudge.

Space Photography - NASA - Bursting with Stars8

Ring Nebula9
The NASA Hubble Space Telescope captured the sharpest view yet of the most famous of all planetary nebulae: the Ring Nebula (M57). This photo reveals elongated dark clumps of material embedded in the gas at the edge of the nebula; the dying central star floating in a blue haze of hot gas. The nebula is about a light-year in diameter and is located some 2,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Lyra.

Screenshot10

Pillars of Creation11
These eerie, dark pillar-like structures are actually columns of cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust that are also incubators for new stars. The pillars protrude from the interior wall of a dark molecular cloud like stalagmites from the floor of a cavern. They are part of the “Eagle Nebula” (also called M16 — the 16th object in Charles Messier’s 18th century catalog of “fuzzy” objects that aren’t comets), a nearby star-forming region 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Serpens.

Screenshot12

2008 November 1 – A Spectre in the Eastern Veil13
The Veil Nebula is a large supernova remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star. While the Veil is roughly circular in shape covering nearly 3 degrees on the sky in the constellation Cygnus, this portion of the eastern Veil spans only 1/2 degree, about the apparent size of the Moon.

Space Photography - 2008 November 1 - A Spectre in the Eastern Veil14

NGC 281815
It may look like a seahorse, but the dark object is actually a pillar of smoky dust about 20 light-years long. The structure occurs in our neighbouring Large Magellanic Cloud, in a star-forming region near the Tarantula Nebula.

Space Photography - Hubble16

Swan Nebula17
This photo shows a bubbly ocean of glowing hydrogen, oxygen, and sulphur gas in the extremely massive and luminous molecular nebula Messier 17. This Hubble photograph captures a small region within Messier 17 (M17), a hotbed of star formation. M17, also known as the Omega or Swan Nebula, is located about 5500 light-years away in the Sagittarius constellation.

Screenshot18

NGC 220719
These glowering eyes are the swirling cores of two merging galaxies called NGC 2207 and IC 2163 in Canis Major. Billions of years from now, only one of these two galaxies will remain. Until then, they will slowly pull each other apart.

Space Photography - Hubble20

Planetary Nebula Mz321
Planetary Nebula Mz3: The Ant Nebula. Expelled gas streaming away at 1,000 kilometres per second create a strange ant shape.

Space Photography - Hubble22

Orion Nebula, M4223
The Orion Nebula, M42, is only 1,500 light-years away. It offers one of the best opportunities to study how stars are born partly because it is the nearest large star-forming region, but also because the nebula’s energetic stars have blown away obscuring dust clouds.

Space Photography - Hubble24

IC 440625
A seemingly square nebula. IC 4406 is probably a hollow cylinder, with its square appearance caused by viewing the cylinder from the side.

Space Photography - Hubble26

M7427
M74: The Perfect Spiral. If not perfect, then this spiral galaxy is at least one of the most photogenic. An island universe of about 100 billion stars, 32 million light-years away toward the constellation Pisces, M74 presents a gorgeous face-on view.

Space Photography - Hubble28

NGC 281829
Hubble’s greatest hits: Hubble space telescope images NGC 2818 is a beautiful planetary nebula, the gaseous shroud of a dying sun-like star. It could well offer a glimpse of the future that awaits our own Sun in about five billion years NGC 2818 is a beautiful planetary nebula, the gaseous shroud of a dying sun-like star. It could well offer a glimpse of the future that awaits our own Sun in about five billion years.

Space Photography - Hubble30

IC 139631
IC 1396 is a large nebula in the constellation Cepheus spanning 3 full degrees of winter sky, the same angular distance of six full moons. This image highlights the conspicuous globule IC 1396A – a striking structure sculpted by the radiation of nearby stars.

Space Photography - Telegraph32

NGC 763533
A cosmic bubble of titanic proportions called the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635), six light years wide, was formed by violent winds blown out by the hot central supergiant star, several hundred thousand times more luminous than our sun The Bubble Nebula A cosmic bubble of titanic proportions called the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635), six light years wide, was formed by violent winds blown out by the hot central supergiant star, several hundred thousand times more luminous than our sun.

Space Photography - Telegraph34

Comet Hyakutake35
Discovered by amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake in January 1996, Comet Hyakutake made a close approach to earth in March 1996. Highly visible even in daylight, the comet put on an amazing visual and photographic spectacle. The comet’s remarkable tail is 360 million miles long, the longest known for any comet.

Space Photography - Telegraph36

2008 February 17 – M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble37
This is the mess that is left when a star explodes. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments. The filaments are not only tremendously complex, but appear to have less mass than expelled in the original supernova and a higher speed than expected from a free explosion.

Space Photography - 2008 February 17 - M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble38

Stars and stripes in space39
This composite image combines visible-light, radio and X-ray data for the full shell of the supernova remnant from SN 1006. The small green box along the bright filament at the top of the image corresponds to the dimensions of the Hubble release image.

Space Photography - Stars and stripes in space - Cosmic Log - msnbc.com40

2008 October 25 – NGC 602 and Beyond41
Near the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant, lies 5 million year young star cluster NGC 602.

Space Photography - 2008 October 25 - NGC 602 and Beyond42

Andromeda galaxy43
This image is a Galaxy Evolution Explorer observation of the large galaxy in Andromeda, Messier 31. The Andromeda galaxy is the second massive in the local group of galaxies that includes our Milky Way. Andromeda is the nearest large galaxy to our own. The image is a mosaic of 10 separate Galaxy Evolution Explorer images taken in September, 2003.

Space Photography - File:Andromeda galaxy.jpg44

Orion Nebula – Hubble 2006 mosaic 1800045
This file was a candidate in Picture of the Year 2006.

Space Photography - File:Orion Nebula - Hubble 2006 mosaic 18000.jpg46

2008 January 5 – M51: Cosmic Whirlpool47
A stunning pair of interacting galaxies. Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with well defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Its spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy (right), NGC 5195. The pair are about 31 million light-years distant and officially lie within the boundaries of the small constellation Canes Venatici.

Space Photography - 2008 January 5 - M51: Cosmic Whirlpool48

2008 March 18 – M78 and Reflecting Dust Clouds in Orion49
An eerie blue glow and ominous columns of dark dust highlight M78 and other bright reflection nebula in the constellation of Orion. The dark filamentary dust not only absorbs light, but also reflects the light of several bright blue stars that formed recently in the nebula. Of the two reflection nebulas pictured above, the more famous nebula is M78, on the upper right, while NGC 2071 can be seen to its lower left.

Space Photography - 2008 March 18 - M78 and Reflecting Dust Clouds in Orion50

2008 August 7 – At the Sun51
The picture is a composite of two images taken at special moments in the eclipse sequence, corresponding to the very beginning and the very end of the total eclipse phase. Those times are known to eclipse chasers as 2nd and 3rd contact.

Space Photography - 2008 August 7 - At the Sun52

2008 August 19 – NGC 6960: The Witch53
Pictured above is the west end of the Veil Nebula known technically as NGC 6960 but less formally as the Witch’s Broom Nebula. The expanding debris cloud gains its colors by sweeping up and exciting existing nearby gas. The supernova remnant lies about 1400 light-years away towards the constellation of Cygnus. This Witch’s Broom actually spans over three times the angular size of the full Moon.

Space Photography - 2008 August 19 - NGC 6960: The Witch54

A Supernova Ribbon from Hubble55
A twisting ribbon of glowing gas marks the point where the expanding blast wave from a stellar explosion known as SN 1006 is sweeping through.

Space Photography - 2008 September 15 - SN 1006: A Supernova Ribbon from Hubble56

Horsehead nebula57
The Horsehead nebula, B33 and Orion nebula.

Screenshot58

Orion Nebula59
Also known as M42, the nebula’s glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud only 1,500 light-years away. The Orion Nebula offers one of the best opportunities to study how stars are born partly because it is the nearest large star-forming region, but also because the nebula’s energetic stars have blown away obscuring gas and dust clouds that would otherwise block our view.

Space Photography - 2009 February 22 - Orion Nebula: The Hubble View60

Helix Nebula HR61
Real, deep space images captured by the Hubble telescope.

Space Photography - Helix Nebula HR62

Triangulum galaxy63
Otherwise known as M33 is one of the nearest galaxies to us and is the smallest member of the local group of galaxies.

Space Photography - Triangulum galaxy64

Andromeda Galaxy65
The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is one of the nearest galaxies in our local neighbourhood, and is visible to the naked eye from a dark site. Being so near, it also has a very large apparent size: the width of 6 full moons. The bright blue patch near the top left is designated NGC 206, and is a very large open cluster within M31

Space Photography - Andromeda Galaxy66

NGC6888 “Crescent” or “Medusa” nebula. 19.5 hours of exposition67
Supernova explosion remnants, among Milky Way stars in the background.

Space Photography - NGC6888 68

The Cartwheel Galaxy69
The unusual shape of the Cartwheel Galaxy is likely due to a collision with one of the smaller galaxies on the lower left several hundred million years ago.

Space Photography - Astronomers 70

Crab Nebula: A Star71
The neutron star, which has the mass equivalent to the sun crammed into a rapidly spinning ball of neutrons twelve miles across, is the bright white dot in the center of the image.

Space Photography - Crab Nebula: A Star72

A Black Hole Overflows (NASA, Chandra, 2/2/09)73
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has helped create a spectacular view of Centaurus A that shows the effects of a supermassive black hole. At the center of this nearby galaxy, a central black hole powers jets and lobes that flare against a background of stars and stardust. In the upper left of the image, an X-ray jet extends about 13,000 light years away from the black hole. The material in that jet is travelling at about half the speed of light.

Space Photography - A Black Hole Overflows (NASA, Chandra, 2/2/09)74

Supernova Explosion 1987A75
February 24, 1987 will be remembered as one of the most spectacular events observed by astronomers in modern times. The destruction of a massive star in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy, resulted in Supernova 1987A.

Space Photography - Supernova Explosion 1987A (Redux: NASA, Chandra, 2/24/09, Original Release 2/22/07)76

Kepler supernova remnant77

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Sagittarius constellation79
Rippling fields of radiation are cast on both sides of Red Spider nebula in the Sagittarius constellation.

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Heart Nebula81
Not surprisingly, the broad, nebular shapes within IC1805 led to its nickname the “Heart Nebula.”

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Mars’s ”Fear” Moon Unveiled83
The tiny moon’s most prominent feature is Stickney Crater, pictured above in false color. The impact that created Stickney is thought to have almost shattered the roughly 17-mile-wide (27-kilometer-wide) moon.

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Supernova85
Faint wisps of gas dance across space, the remnants of a violent supernova that would have been visible to the naked eye on Earth for weeks at the dawn of human civilization some 10,000 years ago.

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Spiral galaxy M8387
Spiral galaxy M83 gleams with its high population of young stars and copious debris and dust.

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Sun89
An arm of super-heated gas, approaching nearly 1 million degrees, erupts from the surface of the Sun.

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MyCn1891
MyCn18, a young planetary nebula located about 8,000 light years away. This photograph was taken with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Screenshot92

Unusual Auroras Over Saturn’s North Pole93
The strange aurora are shown in blue in the above image, while the underlying clouds are shown in red. The previously recorded, also-strange hexagon cloud patterns are visible in red below the aurora. These Saturnian aurora can cover the entire pole, while auroras around Earth and Jupiter are typically confined by magnetic fields to rings surrounding the magnetic poles.

Space94

Helix nebula95
Infrared image by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Helix nebula.

Screenshot96

Spiral galaxy M10697
Beautiful view of spiral galaxy M106.

Screenshot98

Main Galaxy String99
A beautiful galaxy string showing thousands of galaxies.

Thousands of galaxies100

M81 galaxy101
M81 is also known as Bode’s Galaxy.

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Monocerotis103
The star Monocerotis is seen here on the fringe of the Milky Way, brightly illuminated by reflected light from a past explosion.

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Antennae galaxies105

Screenshot106

Beautiful Photographs From Outer Space

Sunset over the Pacific107

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To Fly Free In Space109

Space110

Mars111

Space Photography - Mars112

The Moon113

Screenshot114

Saturn’s Ice Moon115

Space116

Venus117

Space Photography - File:Venus globe.jpg118

Jupiter119

Space Photography - File:PIA04866 modest.jpg120

Enceladus up close121
The tortured surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus and its fascinating ongoing geologic activity tell the story of the ancient and present struggles of one tiny world. The enhanced color view of Enceladus seen here is largely of the southern hemisphere. The south polar terrain is marked by a striking set of “blue” fractures and encircled by a conspicuous and continuous chain of folds and ridges. This mosaic was created from 21 false-color frames taken during the Cassini spacecraft’s close approaches to Enceladus on March 9 and July 14, 2005. Images taken using filters sensitive to ultraviolet, visible and infrared light were combined to create the individual frames. (NASA/JPL-Caltech) #

Space Photography - Enceladus up close122

Earth seen from space123

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A Beautiful View of Huge Clouds Over Earth125

Space126

Space127

Space128

The Sunset On Mars129

Space130

Space Shuttle Endeavour131
A boom used to inspect the shuttle’s heat shield is seen in this photo taken by a member of the shuttle crew.

Space Photography - Photographs from on board the International Space Station and Space Shuttle Endeavour - Telegraph132

Recent scenes from the ISS133
Closer still to Sarychev Peak Volcano, pyroclastic flows can be seen tumbling down its slope (lighter clouds, bottom). Also visible is a closer view of the condensation cloud or “pileus”, formed by the rapidly rising plume. (NASA/JSC) # [Google map]

Space Photography - Recent scenes from the ISS134

Recent scenes from the ISS135
Circular Contrails are visible, east of Lake Nipigon, Canada. (NASA/JSC) # [Google map]

Space Photography - Recent scenes from the ISS136

B-52137
A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofotress Heavy Bomber Flies Over a Cloud-Covered Ocean, May 31, 1986

Space138

Memorable Moments In Human Spaceflight

Space walk139
Astronaut Ed White performs a space walk, straightening the floating loops of slack in his tether as he moves away from the space shuttle Discovery.

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An astronaut in space141
An astronaut grasps a large power tool during maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope.

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American flag on the Moon143

Screenshot144

Footprint on the surface of the Moon145
Buzz Aldrin’s famous footprint on the surface of the moon, taken in July of 1969 during the Apollo 11 mission, has come to be a fitting symbol of humanity’s advance into space.

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Shuttle STS-113 looms in the background147

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Space shuttle Endeavor149
Leaving fiery plumes in its wake, the space shuttle Endeavor sears a path into the darkness on its way to the International Space Station.

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STS-114 Discovery takes off151
Plumes of smoke and dust boil from the perimeter of the launch pad during the take-off of STS-114 Discovery.

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Footnotes

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  109. 109 http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap070916.html
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  111. 111 http://media.npr.org/programs/atc/features/2009/jan/mars/mars_540.jpg
  112. 112 http://media.npr.org/programs/atc/features/2009/jan/mars/mars_540.jpg
  113. 113 http://ncarboni.home.att.net/Astrophotography.html
  114. 114 http://ncarboni.home.att.net/Astrophotography.html
  115. 115 http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA07740.jpg
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Vailancio Rodrigues is a web ninja who bakes semantic muffins. Apart from that he is also interested in Motion Graphics, Visual Effects, Photography and knows little bit of Physics due to his college education . He is from Goa - a beautiful tropical paradise in India.

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  1. 1

    Man, my God is Amazing! There is another picture of the cross galexy on google. it is so cool! This definately shows my God is at work!

    -3
  2. 102

    Wow this is amazing, really puts it all into perspective doesn’t it. We are but passengers stranded on a spec of dust, in an endless sea, unable to escape! I think that may be a pendulum lyric, not sure :P

    0
  3. 203

    these are spectacular pictures, what a beautiful universe we live in!

    0
  4. 304

    más fotos

    0
  5. 405

    that is so not cool

    -2
  6. 506

    tyler williams

    June 1, 2010 5:36 am

    that is so cool

    1
  7. 607

    that is cool

    0
  8. 708

    It’s so sad that.. some of us are ungreatful for being able to -actually- see some of our.. universe. Maybe you should take another look, because, God gave us these eyes for a reason. Enjoy having them, and keep in mind, that, some of us, will never EVER get to experience such… awesome-ness =)
    It’s the twenty first century, and nobody has a reasonable explination for.. anything.
    So, let’s not ruin the beauty of these photos, if YOU don’t like it, or if it bores YOU, well, make it LESS boring for all of us, and don’t leave a comment.
    Peace. =)

    0
  9. 809

    gives ya some idea what it feels like to be the size of a flea when you see the varstness of space beautiul and breathtakeing views

    0
  10. 910

    hey i jst love this photo……
    supervov photo taken by nasa ……………..
    hey jst watch it again and again
    its really an awesome……………..

    0
  11. 1011

    stunning photos. wow thanks for view earth!!!!

    4
  12. 1112

    It’s amazing how much is out there. These photos gave me goosebumps. God, I wish I could travel into space.

    6
  13. 1213

    Our universe is such a beautiful and extraordinary place. I am thankful to live in an age where we have the technology to see many of the distant beautiful places. I would love to be an astronaut! I sat in awe looking at all of them.. especially A Spectre in the Eastern Veil (I kinda saw a flying lizard or a dragon of some sort) and The Pillars of Creation. I wanna see all of this for myself! It’d be kinda like cloud viewing but a million times better.

    3
  14. 1314
  15. 1415

    its awesome i haven’t seen photos like this

    0
  16. 1516

    these are awesome some kind of dream like photos

    0
  17. 1617

    Iván Rivadeneira N.

    February 13, 2012 8:47 pm

    very, very , very beatiful, thanks for put them here, and that we can see

    1
  18. 1718

    Its hard to think of a word that can describe how vast our universe is I think Wow! is a good place to start.

    0

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