If you spend a lot of time in photo shoots with stars, odds are you will eventually see something strange. We're not talking about the Hollywood kind, but rather the cosmic kind. As he snapped photos of the Milky Way, astrophotographer Jack Fusco witnessed something peculiar that sparked his curiosity. Bright lights appeared one by one and then slowly disappeared in the sky over Ocean City, New Jersey. Later he was even approached by authorities who wanted to know about his weird close encounter. Fortunately for him he managed to capture some pretty extraordinary images with his DSLR Camera.
Like a pinwheel, this galaxy spins seemingly with the help of unseen cosmic breath. The Pinwheel Galaxy also known as Messier 101 or NGC 5457, is a face-on spiral galaxy at a distance of 21 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. With a diameter of about 170,000 light years it is 70 percent larger than our own Milky Way Galaxy.
Getting out at night and catching an eye full of the heavens can sometimes give us new awareness of the cosmos. Astrophotographer Brian Drourr took these stunning panoramas of the Milky Way. He says being under the stars has changed the way he sees the universe and our place in it.
"If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently. How so? Well, when you look into infinity, you realize that there are more important things than what people do all day." -Calvin and Hobbes
These aren't your average everyday selfies. Each photo is unique and creative because the photographer captured their own image against the ultimate backdrop, our Milky Way. When one spends so much time under the big open night sky, there is no escaping contemplating the deeper meaning of the universe. Whether we star gaze alone, with friends, or with the one we love, we can't help but feel small and humbled in the grandeur of the cosmos. We come to the understanding we are part of something so incredible and so much larger than ourselves. It was hard picking just one photo from each talented photographer. Please click the link under each name to see more captivating images of our night sky. Thank you to all the photographers who contributed images. The last image is an open invitation for anyone who would like to experience a front row seat to the most amazing show this planet has ever seen. We invite you to go out and enjoy the magic of the night as the Milky Way puts on an unforgettable cosmic show!
Summer is in the air and the Milky Way is high in the night sky. Astrophotographers bring the wonders of the universe right to our eyes without us ever going outside. With light pollution creeping in on every part of the globe many never see the Milky Way any more and sadly some have never seen it. Photographers have been eager to share their recent shots of the glorious Backbone of Night, each one a sparkling stellar masterpiece. Sit back and enjoy these extaordinary shots of cosmic eye candy!
Far away, deep in space, a new baby star has been born in the universe. Hubble and ESA teamed up to bring us this remarkable image. This young star is zooming through the cosmos at supersonic speed with a tail made up from the very star that made it. The the gas and dust that surrounds it will eventually become planets and moons of this newborn alien sun.
It's hard to believe the captivating and gorgeous nebula in this image was created by one tiny sun-like star that exploded. Planetary nebulas are kind of like snowflakes, they are extremely intricate and beautiful and no two are exactly alike. Scattered throughout the universe these dazzling cosmic marvels give scientist a glimpse into our own star's distant future.
NEW from Hubble! A true Stellar Eye, the Ring Nebula has amazed us for years and seems as if the universe is looking back at us as we gaze at it. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced the most detailed observations ever of the Ring Nebula (Messier 57). This image reveals intricate structure only hinted at in previous observations, and has allowed scientists to construct a model of the nebula in 3D — showing the true shape of this striking object.