Beautiful Pics

How Cold is Space

Here are some beautiful pics of space and astronomy.

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This is a picture of NASA Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless floating free above the Earth. He was testing out a new backpack that let astronauts perform spacewalks without the need for a cumbersome tether.

Long Shadows on the Lunar Surface
Long Shadows on the Lunar Surface

This is a very oblique angle view of craters on the Moon taken by the crew of Apollo 10 as they circled around the Moon. This was the last mission before astronauts actually landed onto the Moon.

A Moment Frozen in Time
A Moment Frozen in Time

This is a picture of the Sun captured from the surface of Mars. This picture was taken by NASA’s Spirit rover just as the Sun was setting.

Montage of Neptune and Triton
Montage of Neptune and Triton

Here’s a montage of Neptune and its largest moon Triton. These pictures were taken separately by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft when it made its flyby of the planet in 1989. The pictures were then merged together into this mosaic.

Into the Heart of Darkness
Into the Heart of Darkness

This is a photo of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way. Well, it’s actually the region around the black hole, known as Sagittarius A*.

We’ve written many articles for Universe Today with beautiful pics. Here’s an image of the Veil Nebula complex from Johannes Schedler, and here’s a picture of NGC 2903 from Warren Keller.

If you’d like more amazing photographs, the best place to look is NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. I also recommend you check out the website for the Hubble Space Telescope.

We’ve recorded many episodes of Astronomy Cast, including one about Hubble. Check it out, Episode 88: The Hubble Space Telescope.

Milky Way Galaxy Pictures

Here are some beautiful pics of the Milky Way Galaxy. It’s important to remember that we live inside the Milky Way Galaxy, so there’s no way to show a true photograph of what the Milky Way looks like. We can see pictures of the Milky Way from inside it, or see artist illustrations of what the Milky Way might look like from outside.

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This Milky Way Galaxy picture shows what our galaxy would look like from above. You can see its spiral arms, dense core and the thin halo. The Milky Way is a common barred spiral galaxy. There are billions more just like it in the Universe.


Milky Way in infrared. Image credit: COBE
Milky Way in infrared. Image credit: COBE

This picture of the Milky Way was captured by NASA’s COBE satellite. This photograph was taken using the infrared spectrum, which allows astronomers to peer through the gas and dust that normally obscures the center of the Milky Way.


The plane of the Milky Way, recorded with the Chandra satellite in three colours: Photons with energies between 0.5 and 1keV appear red, those between 1 and 3keV green, and those between 3 and 7keV blue. Discrete sources are indicated by circles.  Image: Mikhail Revnivtsev
The plane of the Milky Way, recorded with the Chandra satellite in three colours: Photons with energies between 0.5 and 1keV appear red, those between 1 and 3keV green, and those between 3 and 7keV blue. Discrete sources are indicated by circles. Image: Mikhail Revnivtsev

This image of the Milky Way Galaxy was taken with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, which can see in the X-Ray spectrum. In this view, only high energy emissions are visible, such as the radiation emitted from black holes and other high energy objects.


Artist's concept shows young, blue stars encircling a supermassive black hole at the core of a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way.Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Schaller (for STScI)
Artist's concept shows young, blue stars encircling a supermassive black hole at the core of a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way.Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Schaller (for STScI)

Here’s an artist’s impression of what a galaxy like the Milky Way might have looked like early in its history. This image shows a supermassive black hole with young blue stars circling it.


Milky_Way_infrared_mosaic.  Credit:  Spitzer Space Telescope
Milky_Way_infrared_mosaic. Credit: Spitzer Space Telescope

This is a mosaic image of the Milky Way captured by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. It was built up by several photographs taken by Spitzer, which sees in the infrared spectrum, and can peer through obscuring dust.