This recently released photograph from the Hubble Telescope captures the spectacular glory of Messier 15 located about 35,000 light-years away. It might be hard to believe, but if you were to look up in the sky and locate the constellation Pegasus, this entire cluster of stars is located inside of it. It is one of the densest clusters of stars ever discovered. Via the ESA:
Both very hot blue stars and cooler golden stars can be seen swarming together in the image, becoming more concentrated towards the cluster’s bright centre. Messier 15 is one of the densest globular clusters known, with most of its mass concentrated at its core. As well as stars, Messier 15 was the first cluster known to host a planetary nebula, and it has been found to have a rare type of black hole at its centre.
Walking on Stars
Photographer Lee Eunyeol constructed elaborate light installations that appear as if the night sky switched positions with the ground, flipping it upside down. It is based around the idea of inverting the night sky. The glowing stars and planets are now nestled inside tall grass and deep between earthen cracks. The results are incredibly unique and thoroughly surreal. The series titled Starry Night generates a mysterious and magical landscape that juxtaposes day with night.
10 Stunning Cityscapes Without Light Pollution
There are many advantages to city life, from conveniences like 24-hour delis and reliable public transportation to all of the culture that’s right at our fingertips. But there’s one thing that’s sadly missing from our lives — starry skies. In Thierry Cohen’s thought-provoking series Darkened Cities, we get to see what various cityscapes worldwide would look like minus all of the light pollution.
The Paris-based photographer’s work is very precise; the skies that he superimposes into his photos are taken from locations that are situated on the same latitude as the original cities, and shot at the same angle. The resulting images are beautiful. Click through to see what some of the world’s brightest cities look like when the lights are off and the stars come out to play.
- Hong Kong, China
- Los Angeles, California
- Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
- São Paulo, Brazil
- San Francisco, California
- Tokyo, Japan
- Paris, France
- Manhattan, New York
- Ground Zero, New York
- Shanghai, China
Amazing Volcanic Eruption With Northern Lights, Iceland
After hearing that the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano was erupting, photographer James Appleton made a journey to Iceland. Appleton managed to take these stunning photos of the volcano’s eruption while a light display of the aurora borealis (northern lights) filled the sky. His words express the experience best:
In 2010 I became aware of the volcanic activity on the Fimmvörðuháls mountain pass, on the side of Eyjafjallajökull. Having crossed the pass several times on previous trips to Iceland, I knew the area and that I would know my way around. Dealing with the severe winter conditions and obviously volatile situation would be something else. I am a strong believer that sometimes in life it is the risks we take that bring the greatest rewards, so with that in mind I booked flights, assembled my gear and headed out to Iceland. Arriving at night, I hitchhiked to the south coast and the start of the path up to the pass. Five days later I would return, physically and mentally exhausted, but with some of the greatest photographs I had ever taken and a pretty wide smile on my face.
Stars Become the Night
Australian photographer Lincoln Harrison captivated the world with his first Star Trails collection with surreal swirls of stars in the night sky, created using long-exposure techniques. Recently, Harrison added a new collection titled Nightscapes to his gallery and it’s just as breathtaking. In this series, the stars seem to be just out of reach, shining like suspended diamonds in a colorful night sky.
Harrison uses the same technique of long-exposure frames to capture the brilliant movements of the stars. He shoots the night sky separately with a creative zoom technique, and then layers the images in post-production. His entire collection can be viewed at his site.
10 Years of Incredible Photos from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope
For 10 years, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has been helping scientists on Earth learn more about the mysterious objects hiding in our star-studded skies. On August 25, 2003, the telescope, carrying a relatively small, 0.85-meter beryllium mirror, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Since then, it’s been trailing the Earth on its orbit around the sun, like NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.
Spitzer stares at the heavens in infrared wavelengths, revealing the cold, distant, and dusty realms of the universe, normally invisible to eyes on Earth. In this gallery, ribbons of dust wind around massive stars, the cavities carved by hot, young stars open up like bottomless caverns, and the spiraling tendrils of a distant galaxy glisten behind a foreground nebula.
- Helix Nebula - About 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, the white dwarf star (visible in the very center), is the dead remnant of what was once a star like the sun. The bright red glow immediately around it is probably the dust kicked up by colliding comets that survived the death of their stellar host.
- The Wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud - This is a region known as the “Wing” of the Small Magellanic Cloud, one of the Milky Way’s satellite dwarf galaxies. Here, Chandra X-Ray Observatory data are in purple, optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope are shown in red, green and blue, and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope are shown in red.
- Zeta Ophiuchi - A giant star zooming through space at 54,000 miles per hour creates a bowshock — ripples that are the result of billowing stellar winds colliding with the dust ahead of it. About 370 light-years away, it is 80,000 times brighter than the sun. It would be one of the brightest stars in the sky, but it’s invisible from Earth obscured by dust and clouds.
- M81 - Messier 81, a relatively nearby galaxy that’s just 12 million light-years distant, is a gorgeous spiral located the northern sky in Ursa Major.
- Bright Superbubble - Massive stars grow quickly and die young, exploding in radiant supernovae. A large cluster of these hot, young stars will generate stellar winds and shock waves that carve superbubbles into the fabric of their nurseries, like the ones seen here, about 160,000 light-years away in NGC 1929.
- Galactic Merger - The cores of two merging galaxies form what appear to be giant blue eyes, peering out from behind a swirling red mask. Galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163, located about 140 million light-years from Earth, began merging relatively recently — about 40 million years ago. Eventually, the pair will form a giant cycloptic eye.
An Image of a New-Born Star Brought to Earth by ALMA
What you are seeing a new-born star. Think of it as a baby in a galactic nursery of unlimited babies. The ALMA observations (orange and green, lower right) of the newborn star reveal a large energetic jet moving away from us, though it’s mostly covered by dust and gas. To the left (in pink and purple) is the visible part of the jet, streaming partly towards us. This beautiful imagery is brought to you by ALMA, an important new facility in our ever-expanding exploration of space.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) is a collection of carefully arranged telescopes or mirror segments acting together to probe structures with higher resolution in space. ALMA is located at the Llano de Chajnantor Observatory in the Atacama desert of northern Chile. The antennas can be moved across the desert plateau over great distances which give ALMA a powerful variable “zoom.” The high sensitivity is mainly achieved through the large numbers of telescopes that make up the array. Because of this, we can now see amazing images of space in greater detail. ALMA is very important to space research and allows for pictures like the one above.