Spinning Fire Under the Milky Way Makes an Awesome Photo
This image was taken by Nimit Nigamfrom Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India on Sept. 17, 2015.
Credit: Nimit Nigam

Resembling a thousand sparklers on fire, this stunning image pits the shining Milky Way as a backdrop to the spinning landscape below.

This unique method of photography is called steel wool spinning. This image was taken by Nimit Nigam from Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India on Sept. 17.

Steel wool spinning uses wire wool to create the dramatic lines of fire. Burning steel wool is potentially dangerous. Don’t underestimate the potential danger and wear protective clothing, have a fire extinguisher as well as safety goggles. Never perform this technique in an enclosed area and near anything that can be set alight. [The 101 Best Night Sky Photos of 2015]

Our host galaxy, the Milky Way, is a barred spiral galaxy seen as a band of light in the night sky. It stretches between 100, 000 and 120,000 light-years in diameter. It is estimated that the galaxy has approximately 400 billion stars. At the center of our galaxy lies a gigantic black hole billions of times the size of the sun. 

Dust off your spiral arms and fatten up your bulge — it's time to tap into your inner galaxy to test your smarts about the Milky Way. Our home in space is a strange and wondrous place that scientists are still trying to figure out. See what you know!
The Milky Way Galaxy is organized into spiral arms of giant stars that illuminate interstellar gas and dust. The sun is in a finger called the Orion Spur.
0 of 10 questions complete
Milky Way Quiz: Test Your Galaxy Smarts
Dust off your spiral arms and fatten up your bulge — it's time to tap into your inner galaxy to test your smarts about the Milky Way. Our home in space is a strange and wondrous place that scientists are still trying to figure out. See what you know!
The Milky Way Galaxy is organized into spiral arms of giant stars that illuminate interstellar gas and dust. The sun is in a finger called the Orion Spur.
0 of questions complete

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by our readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share with us and our news partners for a possible story or image gallery, send images and comments in to Managing Editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

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