Laurel Nendza is the owner and creator of Stellar Eyes.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) see the world at night on every orbit — that’s 16 times each crew day. An astronaut took this broad, short-lens photograph of Earth’s night lights while looking out over the remote reaches of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean. ISS was passing over the island nation of Kiribati at the time, about 2600 kilometers (1,600 miles) south of Hawaii.
Long ago before telescopes were available, many people looked at this cosmic object and assumed it was a bright star. Little did they know it was actually a nebula full of exploding stars and new solar systems at the edge of a small, near by galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud.
As if Pluto hasn't impressed our socks off already this year, today NASA revealed an amazing discovery. No one could have guessed this distant tiny object would have skies of blue! The first color images of Pluto’s atmospheric hazes, returned by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft last week, reveal that the hazes are blue.
This extraordinary bubble, glowing like the ghost of a star in the haunting darkness of space, may appear supernatural and mysterious, but it is a familiar astronomical object: a planetary nebula, the remnants of a dying star. This is the best view of the little-known object ESO 378-1 yet obtained and was captured by ESO's Very Large Telescope in northern Chile.
There are some hidden places in America most of us never see. If we look for them, we might find that those little dirt roads seemingly leading to nowhere, in fact, lead to some of nature's biggest treasures. If you find one, make sure you bring hiking boots and some camping gear because these places are often hard to get to and can sometimes be very dangerous. For astrophotographer Dave Lane, his treacherous journeys have paid off, and give us a glimpse into an astounding world few have seen. Armed with his camera equipment, he captures stunning sky-scapes of the Milky Way filled with delicate ribbons of colorful sky glow over our national parks.
The shimmering colours visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image show off the remarkable complexity of the Twin Jet Nebula. The new image highlights the nebula’s shells and its knots of expanding gas in striking detail. Two iridescent lobes of material stretch outwards from a central star system. Within these lobes two huge jets of gas are streaming from the star system at speeds in excess of one million kilometres per hour.
This year's Perseid meteor shower turned out to be a glorious event, treating sky watchers to a dazzling light show. Every Summer, Earth passes near the orbit of comet Swift-Tuttle and crosses it's debris stream. The warm lazy nights are a perfect time to enjoy this cosmic performance and is a favorite of star gazers because they can enjoy long bright streaks of comet dust. Radiating from the constellation Perseus, they linger a few awe-inspiring moments from the ionized gas trails. The shower proved successful to many talented astrophotographers who graciously allowed Stellar Eyes to share their breathe-taking photos. They were able to catch dozens of meteors along with brilliant and colorful air-glow. Their work gives us a chance to immerse in the magic of the universe and be inspired by it's endless wonders. Feel free to share so others can enjoy these truly spectacular images.
A dying star’s final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star’s demise is still quite lengthy by our standards, lasting tens of thousands of years!
When we contemplate our place in the universe, sometimes it helps to look out into the cosmos and try to wrap our minds around the unimaginable number of planets, stars and galaxies. Astronomers have estimated that there is way over 100 billion planets and stars in the Milky Way alone, and over 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, all with billions and billions of alien suns and planets. The possibilities are endless and can entertain our imagination for countless hours until our brains almost explode.
As we gaze into the night, we can see amazing wonders, but telescopes can turn them into eye candy for the soul. This image captured by Terry Hancock in his amateur backyard observatory in Fremont, Michigan, takes our eyes on an instant cosmic vacation. It almost appears 3-D as our imagination travels through the incredible jewel encrusted scenery.