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Stunning Space Photography

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.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Beauties in the Outer Space Link

Messier 1045
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.

space photography6

Hoag’s Object7
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.


NASA – Bursting with Stars9
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 Stars10

Ring Nebula11
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.


Pillars of Creation13
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.


2008 November 1 – A Spectre in the Eastern Veil15
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 Veil16

NGC 2818
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 - Hubble

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.


NGC 2207
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 - Hubble

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

Space Photography - Hubble

Orion Nebula, M42
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 - Hubble

IC 4406
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 - Hubble

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 - Hubble

NGC 2818
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 - Hubble

IC 1396
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 - Telegraph

NGC 7635
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 - Telegraph

Comet Hyakutake
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 - Telegraph

2008 February 17 – M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble19
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 Hubble20

Stars and stripes in space
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 -

2008 October 25 – NGC 602 and Beyond21
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 Beyond22

Andromeda galaxy23
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.jpg24

Orion Nebula – Hubble 2006 mosaic 1800025
This file was a candidate in Picture of the Year 2006.

Space Photography - File:Orion Nebula - Hubble 2006 mosaic 18000.jpg26

2008 January 5 – M51: Cosmic Whirlpool27
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 Whirlpool28

2008 March 18 – M78 and Reflecting Dust Clouds in Orion29
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 Orion30

2008 August 7 – At the Sun31
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 Sun32

2008 August 19 – NGC 6960: The Witch33
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 Witch34

A Supernova Ribbon from Hubble35
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 Hubble36

Horsehead nebula37
The Horsehead nebula, B33 and Orion nebula.


Orion Nebula39
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 View40

Helix Nebula HR41
Real, deep space images captured by the Hubble telescope.

Space Photography - Helix Nebula HR42

Triangulum galaxy43
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 galaxy44

Andromeda Galaxy45
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 Galaxy46

NGC6888 “Crescent” or “Medusa” nebula. 19.5 hours of exposition47
Supernova explosion remnants, among Milky Way stars in the background.

Space Photography - NGC6888 48

The Cartwheel Galaxy49
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 50

Crab Nebula: A Star51
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 Star52

A Black Hole Overflows (NASA, Chandra, 2/2/09)53
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)54

Supernova Explosion 1987A55
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)56

Kepler supernova remnant57


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

Heart Nebula59
Not surprisingly, the broad, nebular shapes within IC1805 led to its nickname the “Heart Nebula.”


Mars’s ”Fear” Moon Unveiled61
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.


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.


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

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


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


Unusual Auroras Over Saturn’s North Pole67
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.


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


Spiral galaxy M10669
Beautiful view of spiral galaxy M106.


Main Galaxy String71
A beautiful galaxy string showing thousands of galaxies.

Thousands of galaxies72

M81 galaxy73
M81 is also known as Bode’s Galaxy.


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


Antennae galaxies77


Beautiful Photographs From Outer Space Link

Sunset over the Pacific79


To Fly Free In Space81



Space Photography - Mars84

The Moon


Saturn’s Ice Moon85



Space Photography - File:Venus globe.jpg88


Space Photography - File:PIA04866 modest.jpg90

Enceladus up close91
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 close92

Earth seen from space

A Beautiful View of Huge Clouds Over Earth




The Sunset On Mars93


Space Shuttle Endeavour
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 - Telegraph

Recent scenes from the ISS95
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 ISS96

Recent scenes from the ISS97
Circular Contrails are visible, east of Lake Nipigon, Canada. (NASA/JSC) # [Google map]

Space Photography - Recent scenes from the ISS98

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


Memorable Moments In Human Spaceflight Link

Space walk99
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.


An astronaut in space101
An astronaut grasps a large power tool during maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope.


American flag on the Moon


Footprint on the surface of the Moon
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.

Shuttle STS-113 looms in the background103


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

STS-114 Discovery takes off105
Plumes of smoke and dust boil from the perimeter of the launch pad during the take-off of STS-114 Discovery.


More Sources Of Inspiration Link

Please take a look at the following related posts:


Footnotes Link

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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.

  1. 1

    Wow these are really awesome. Bookmarked.

  2. 2

    Andy Morrow

    July 24, 2009 6:47 am

    Nah, nothing spectacular – I don’t get how people can find such things beautiful, they are abstract and chaotic.

  3. 3

    Kevin Bishop

    July 24, 2009 6:51 am

    Fuckin ace!

  4. 4

    Great Photos!!

    Just a small correction. You put “Astronaut Ed White performs the first space walk” and while he was the first American to perform a space walk in fact Alexey Leonov was who completed the first ever space walk.


  5. 5

    Edward Palomo

    July 24, 2009 7:03 am

    Very beautiful!

  6. 6

    Space; perfect beauty

  7. 7

    Comet Hyakutake

    “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 3 Comet Hyakutake 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 Picture: Bill and Sally Fletcher / Capturing the Stars, Astrophotography by the Masters”

    What is this? Please fix.

  8. 8

    boring… very boring……………

  9. 9

    Cool stuff!!

  10. 10

    Amazing, and slightly nauseating.

  11. 11


    July 24, 2009 7:40 am

    GREAT photos.

    @Andy Marrow: You see chaos, but I see a sense of order. The alignment of the planets, the location of the sun, the shapes of mass that distinguish different galaxies from one another and the beautiful colors each of these extraordinary objects omit. Just because one doesn’t understand the objects, why they are there and they way they function, doesn’t mean it is chaotic.

  12. 12

    OK, this was below the normal level of Smashing. The captions are merely copied and pasted from the original pages, without even making them grammatically match the new context. Furthermore, most of us have probably seen a lot of these pictures before, so they’re hardly fresh inspiration. Who hasn’t seen the photo of Aldrin on the moon?

  13. 13

    A little off topic for something to be posted on SM…. Not hardly website inspiration, and kindof a wasted read. Wonder how much someone got paid to copy all of that from other websites. That can also effect SEO for SM. Guess someone was desperate for content. Try harder next time, but thanks for the effort.

  14. 14


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  16. 16

    Good lord, some of you people are hard to please.

    I think the pictures are lovely.

  17. 17

    AMAZING …. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    MIND BLOWING … !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GREAT WORK SM & Vailancio Rodrigues…..
    keep it up!!!

  18. 18


  19. 19

    Where are the Pillars of Creation and the Horsehead nebula?

    @Andy Marrow: are you saying that there’s no beauty in chaos?

    • 20

      Great Photos!!

      Just a small correction. You put “Astronaut Ed White performs the first space walk” and while he was the first American to perform a space walk in fact Alexey Leonov was who completed the first ever space walk.


  20. 21

    I read your comments. Thanks for commenting and correcting.
    Well the article which was delivered to Smashing Magazine is different from what has been published. May be because
    • there were not many photos
    • there was not much text
    • SM was not satisfied with my short article.
    SM worked more on the post adding those extra images and the text.
    I will try to contact the chief editor to sort out this matter and assure you that in future you will get highly inspirational articles.

  21. 22

    I think the pictures are great!

  22. 23

    Finally a photography post. Inspiration is everywhere. To the critics above, just like every movie can’t be Citizen Kane not every post can be perfect. I enjoyed it. Not the best not the worst, and it is good to mix it up from time to time.

    Thanks SM, Cheers!

  23. 24

    Awesome photos, for me Space is an ultimate inspiration :)

  24. 25

    “NGC 2207
    These glowering eyes are the swirling cores of two merging galaxies called NGC 2207 and IC 2163 in Canis Major”…. and yet more proof of the creator of the universe, his noodlieness, the flying spaghetti monster.

  25. 26

    These are really awesome… stumbled :)

  26. 27


    I used to read alot on astronomy about a decade back, those were familiar then.. now seeing these I have beautiful memories of my learnings and interest.. thanks SM!

  27. 28


    July 24, 2009 9:25 am

    That was Smashing !!

  28. 29

    I often find the further away from a computer I get, the easier it is to be inspired. There is no html or css in space. These shapes and textures are awesome.

    What’s up with people flaming this post? If you want to be inspired for a new interface, think about being in a space ship, and looking out your window…. when you look back down at your controls, what do they look like? Maybe you are looking at a heads up display, with these images in the background.

    Just because a series of images doesn’t inspire you right now, does not mean they won’t ever inspire you. Nor does it mean that they can’t inspire anyone else.

  29. 30

    amazing!!! no words for this!

  30. 31

    Beyond infinity!

  31. 32

    A short and simple ‘how to’ would’ve been more SM-like. Right now this is more like NASA’s APOD collection.

  32. 33

    All amazing pics, apart from the ones made in a studio in California with the space men in tinfoil suits walking about on the moon in radiation which would have microwaved them in a matter of minutes.

  33. 34

    Really beautiful photos!

    I wonder if I can copy the contents of the Smashing Magazine and put on my site giving the proper credit?

    Sorry my English is not very good.

  34. 35

    i Dont understand some of you who say “boring”, or “off topic” . as a designer and illustrator, and from the intro paragraph alone, these photographs are a form of inspiration. If you consider yourself a strong person amongst your field, you would not look at this as an off the topic post nor boring.

  35. 36

    Gaurav Toshniwal

    July 24, 2009 12:01 pm

    that was SMASHING!!!!

  36. 37

    wow, some really crazy, mind boggling stuff. I especially like “sunset on mars” and “pillars of creation”. Thanks so much for sharing! xxx

  37. 38

    Jennifer @dna11

    July 24, 2009 12:20 pm

    This is awesome!

  38. 39

    God is good.

  39. 40

    As someone studying to become an astronautical engineer, I did find these incredibly inspiring – not so much in the design sense, but in a boost to keep going to reach my ultimate goal. Great work!
    Thanks SM!

  40. 41

    God is great.

    Fantastic imagery. Out of this world. Literally! If you do not see beauty in this, you are not a designer, as far as I am concerned.

  41. 42

    I don’t see any image of “GOD” in here, stop being delusional.
    Hubble telescope is great, not science fiction like talking snake…

    Good Post SM keep it up.

  42. 43

    Judith Patterson / BindingLogic

    July 24, 2009 1:43 pm

    People, these is a beautiful subtext running here!

  43. 44

    Boring? How could anyone think these images are boring?

    To anyone who thinks these images are boring: Go back to watching your reality TV shows and leave the rest of us who have two brain cells to rub together alone.

  44. 45

    Nice! Nice!

  45. 46

    absolutely incredible! I hardly expected to find a newly piqued interest in astronomy just by following Smashing’s RSS feed, but that’s what has happened!!

  46. 47

    I think the pictures were really spectacular. Thanks SM and Vailancio Rodrigues for the effort in putting all the pictures in one single post. I request SM to start numbering the pictures for easy reference in the comment section.

    Btw, in the picture titled “2008 October 25 – NGC 602 and Beyond” can anyone see a baby’s face? Well, I am not being delusional. :)

  47. 48

    Dats really awesome man!!!!

  48. 49

    How can anyone look at these photos and think “God”? I do hope he didn’t put Andromeda on its collision course with the Milky Way. Pretty clumsy creator.

    Anyway, maybe this is not a terribly fitting collection for SM, but I can’t complain. These images do not get stale.

  49. 50

    TImely and thought-provoking. Thanks Smashing.

  50. 51

    God is good.

    God is great.

    All of that are made by god (allah) the only one god. So, it should be beautifull and greate.

    What is all this God and Allah crap? Surely the one thing these pictures should do is give you a clearer perspective of the sheer immense size of the universe and how meagre and inadequate your “god” is. Those tribal superstitions have no place in the real world.

    Fabulous photos, except for the first one of Mars and the one of Venus which are NOT photos but in fact computer generated composites from satellite scans.

  51. 52

    I could watch those images all day long! Nice job posting it.

  52. 53

    Great pictures, I’m gona buy me a telescope!

    Keep it up Smashing!!!

  53. 54

    saad alzahrani

    July 25, 2009 4:59 am

    All of that are made by god (allah) the only one god. So, it should be beautifull and greate.

  54. 55

    May I know who is the photographer and which is the camera ?!

  55. 56

    Jasmin Halkić

    July 25, 2009 6:22 am


  56. 57

    Really awesome! I love space pictures

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  58. 59

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    if (!WBFS_isalive(wbfsdevice))
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    if (SetWBFSMode(wbfsdevice, getGameHeader(gameselected)->id) != 0)
    return false;

    int ret;
    u32 status;

    ret = bwDVD_GetCoverStatus(&status);

    if (ret < 0)
    disc_inserted = false;
    write_font(185, 250, “GetCoverStatus failed”);
    } else
    if (status & 0x02)
    disc_inserted = true;
    write_font(185, 250, “Disc is inserted”);
    } else
    disc_inserted = false;
    write_font(185, 250, “Disc is NOT inserted”);

    return true;

  59. 60

    Simply amazing. Makes you feel kind of small and harmless…..

  60. 61

    The picture of sunset on Mars is awe inspiring. Great stuff.

  61. 62

    Alex Robinson

    July 25, 2009 5:57 pm

    Thanks for posting this, so many absolutely beautiful photos.

  62. 63

    Kevin Moore

    July 25, 2009 6:11 pm

    @The people who complained about this article…

    See that arrow button at the upper left of your browser? If you find an article boring or uninspiring, click that little arrow and find something different. No every article has to be design-related. We can feed our heads in different ways.

  63. 64

    saad alzahrani

    July 25, 2009 8:43 pm

    OK, Mnesikles! live as you like in your real world some day you will be in hell enjoy it. In this real world you only have one chance to save your self by being muslim, or you would not.

  64. 65

    @saad alzahrani
    Dude you are brain washed. To save just hold down Ctrl(WIN)/Command(MAC) + S

  65. 66

    awesome photos! not website relevant but, inspiring none the less.

  66. 67

    Brilliant post.

  67. 68

    Anything mind stimulating is good at Smash.
    On a side note, conspiracy theories have no place here. God is one of them.

  68. 69

    someone screwed up the link to the horsehead nebula image .. it 404s

  69. 70

    Hey Smashing…ummm, is post #63 worthy of being deleted.

    Thats pretty heavy stuff for this post, actually any post here. This is all about inspiration, going off on a tangent about hell and religion is waaaaay off the mark.

  70. 71

    A proofreading-related comment: Ed White did not spacewalk from the space shuttle Discovery, as the shuttle program had not been conceived of in 1965. White performed his EVA on the Gemini IV spaceflight.

  71. 72


  72. 73

    @ Swan Nebula, IC 1396, Orion Nebula, Pillars of Creation

    Makes me think of a verse from the Qur’an…

    “Then He lifted Himself to heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth, “Come willingly, or unwillingly!” They said, “We come willingly.”

    Translated: Arberry, AJ (1964) The World’s Classics Series: The Koran Intepreted, Oxford Univisity Press, p.491

  73. 74

    Ok lets forget whether God exists or not in this argument and think more about what this content really is.

    “Make it so Mr Worf, Engage!”

    Great Pictures!!! Loved them. Truly Inspirational.

  74. 75

    And the great thing about these photos, they’re in public domain!

  75. 76

    Ignatz Horowitz

    July 27, 2009 7:06 am

    If Akino and Manuel find these pics boring, maybe they’d rather see some more of those crappy faux “HDR” images. Losers.

  76. 77

    Cheers SM! Love the galaxy and you guys so much! These photos are splendidly sweet. One of my favorite posts so keep them them coming.

  77. 78

    At first I thought it was a tutorial on how the moon landing photos were photoshoped ;)

    Space is blowing my mind away. Amazing. Brings so much questions about the true nature of reality, what we see from space and what we don’t see…
    Trying to understand reality, the way it is formed and decoded by our brain, its process, help us question and understand our role as designer… color synthesis… duality wave/particle…

    No point arguing about God… everyone sees what they want from their perspective in the beauty and mysteries of the creation. “Surely there are signs in this for those who possess knowledge”. Peace.

  78. 79

    Elwin B. Coldiron

    July 27, 2009 6:03 pm

    Several errors on the pic of Ed White. One, Ed White did his famous spacewalk during the Gemini IV mission, which leads to the second error – Ed White died on January 27, 1967 as a result of the Apollo 1 fire – long before the space shuttle was launch in May of 1981!

  79. 80

    I love the photos, but I am a little disappointed by the quality of this page from SM. Some of the photos are duplicated (Orion Neb.), there are some typos (Hubbell?, shuittle?), some are not from space (B-52), some are not photos (ok, this is borderline – I am thinking of the radar map of Venus; radar being another wavelength of photon). The picture labeled ST-113 is obviously wrong – the white external tank was only used on ST-1 and ST-2. Someone already mentioned that Ed White was not a shuttle astronaut. The photo labeled Sun is not the Sun (click the link to see the correct photo, which is also red).

    I enjoy these SM photo essays, but I think SM should set a higher target for the quality of these posts. Normally they are fantastic. I hope this is only a one-time quality issue.

  80. 81

    Beautiful – of course.
    Inspirational – always.
    Quality of text – iffy.
    God? Nah…

  81. 82

    does anyone know if there’s been a high-quality animation done of… I guess space life. Stars forming and exploding and all that dusty stuff swirling around. Speed up the process to like a million light-years per second.

    That would be awesome. Someone be inspired to do that, cuz i can’t =P

  82. 83

    Bob Anderson

    July 28, 2009 6:51 am

    Beautiful, wonderful photography, really does make you feel very small!!

  83. 84

    this is just… amazing, incredible, beautiful.
    I almost cry.
    really… i can’t believe these things are for real. they’re just STUNNING.

  84. 85

    The Universe is beautiful and wonderful…… realy we are not alone in cosmos. For so beautiful it isn´t possible

  85. 86

    Stunning, thats the only word to describe them!

  86. 87


    July 31, 2009 5:57 pm

    Great images! However, Smashing Magazine forgot to put in one of my favorites.
    ‘Death Star’ Galaxy Black Hole Fires at Neighboring Galaxy’- From NASA


  87. 88

    Oliver Gann (August 2, 2009)

    August 2, 2009 10:56 am

    The world cannot know the Creator of the universe through the wisdom of man. It can only recognize wisdom of the Creator by recognizing the man who was the centre of history, who was made unto us wisdom which supersedes all knowledge and understanding.

  88. 89

    Vailancio earlier said, “I will try to contact the chief editor to sort out this matter and assure you that in future you will get highly inspirational articles.”

    I derive great inspiration from science and technology which is the expert guide to unlocking the majesty and beauty of the Universe we live in. NASA provides it as one can notice by the link I earlier submitted. And, you by way of Smashing Magazine have too paid tribute to NASA and it’s team of experts.

    I want to also mention the Universe before the Big Bang: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation Anisotropies: their Discovery and Utilization, Nobel Lecture, December 8, 2006 by George F. Smoot. I present only two snippets from the lecture wherein he states within his lecture.

    1. “The Cosmic Background Radiation Observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) temperature anisotropies have revolutionized and continue to revolutionize our understanding of the Universe. The observation of the CMB anisotropies angular power spectrum with its plateau, acoustic peaks, and high frequency damping tail have established a standard cosmological model consisting of a flat (critical density) geometry, with contents being mainly dark energy and dark matter and a small amount of ordinary matter. In this successful model the dark and ordinary matter formed its structure through gravitational instability acting on the quantum fluctuations generated during the very early Inflationary epoch. Current and future observations will test this model and determine its key cosmological parameters with spectacular precision and confidence.”

    2. “According to Big Bang theory, our universe began in a nearly perfect thermal equilibrium state with very high temperature. The universe is dynamic and has been ever expanding and cooling since its birth. When the temperature of the universe dropped to 3,000 K there were insufficient energetic CMB photons to keep hydrogen or helium atoms ionized. Thus, the primeval plasma of charged nuclei electrons and photons changed into neutral atoms plus background radiation. The background radiation could then propagate through space freely, though being stretched by the continuing expansion of the universe, while baryonic matter (mostly hydrogen and helium atoms) could cluster by gravitational attraction to form stars, galaxies and even larger structures. For these structures to form there must have been primordial perturbations in the early matter and energy distributions. The primordial fluctuations of matter density that will later form large scale structures leave imprints in the form of temperature anisotropies in the CMB.”

    And some added information from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Technology Review’s article, Nobel Causes, Cell biology and cosmology will never be the same, thanks to Andrew Fire, PhD ’83, and George Smoot ’66, PhD ‘ by Katherine Bourzac, January 12, 2007:

    “He [George Smoot] co-led the research team behind NASA’s COBE satellite, which made the first quantitative measurements of the initial conditions of the universe. Smoot’s 1992 map of tiny temperature variations in cosmic radiation originating from about 14 billion years ago is the big bang theory’s smoking gun. The minute fluctuations Smoot charted are thought to indicate the local concentrations of energy–the “seeds”–around which matter coalesced into the clusters of galaxies that make up today’s universe”. “(p.1)

    And, from the same article, “Astrophysicists say Smoot and Mather’s announcement of COBE’s results was a turning point for cosmology, when philosophical speculation about the universe’s origins gave way to a science built on quantitative evidence. Smoot’s map was subsequently verified by further balloon experiments and has since been enhanced by more sensitive measurements from WMAP, a NASA satellite still in orbit. Bertschinger likens Smoot and the other COBE scientists to explorers finding new continents. “You first find the continents and then explore the coastlines and make your maps more and more refined,” he says.” (p.5)



    p.s. If Smashing Magazine needs a good science researcher please contact me. :-)

  89. 90

    stunningly beautiful shots, (and no sign of god, he must be out)

  90. 91

    rory (age 10)

    August 4, 2009 2:50 pm

    what beautiful stars and planets.They must have huge telescopes .

  91. 92


  92. 93

    For sarah, god (allah) surround all what you see and more, this beautiful universe is not a clear sign for the creator?

  93. 94

    fascinant………alahu akbar
    je t’aime mon beau dieu

  94. 95

    Ed White – Gemini mission spacewalk – YEARS before the Shuttle flew. Whoever wrote the caption needs firing (preferably on top of a rocket)…

  95. 96


    Good point.

    if you want to argue about god and religion, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!!

    these pics are great. thanks for going to the work to find and put them together.

  96. 97

    Greeting. Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: 7 commandments of stock investing. I found only this – stock market Investing courses. portfolio dividend and beta products kjh financial services requires academic right issues of all assets and will treat our results to you, if any. In this speculation i will take what currency responsibility cash is and how application cracks can sell it to such pilot.Last no likely transaction was mixed, well from that compared in the outdated tax.Sell education demonstrates municipal committee for temporary definitions and those arguably being with stocks. With love :o, Kaniel from Bosnia.

  97. 98

    Amazing pictures.

  98. 99


  99. 100

    stunning shots. i want to go out to space! going to give Richard Branson a call later.

  100. 101

    Scott MacKay

    March 25, 2010 2:26 pm

    Old post i know,

    but those of you finding these triumphs in not only photography, but our existence, are clearly looking through a much too narrow scope. Perhaps off the usual SM trail, but these are photographs that you, or noone you know will or could ever capture. 28 million light years away…

    On a side note, some of these textures and colors are mysteriously found in tonnes of design. I dig them!

    Outer Space is far out and so are these photos.

  101. 102

    Sophia Hawke

    April 17, 2010 9:43 pm

    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!

  102. 103

    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

  103. 104

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

  104. 105

    más fotos

  105. 106

    that is so not cool

  106. 107

    tyler williams

    June 1, 2010 5:36 am

    that is so cool

  107. 108

    brandon auer

    June 1, 2010 5:40 am

    that is cool

  108. 109

    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. =)

  109. 110

    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

  110. 111

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

  111. 112

    mushtaq ahmed

    July 31, 2011 7:50 pm

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

  112. 113

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

  113. 114

    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.

  114. 115
  115. 116

    its awesome i haven’t seen photos like this

  116. 117

    these are awesome some kind of dream like photos

  117. 118

    Iván Rivadeneira N.

    February 13, 2012 8:47 pm

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

  118. 119

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


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