Stunning Photos of Our Milky Way Galaxy (Gallery)

3 Telescopes Combine for Stunning Milky Way Photo

NASA, ESA, SSC, CXC, and STScI

In this spectacular image, observations using infrared light and X-ray light see through the obscuring dust and reveal the intense activity near the galactic core of the Milky Way. The image combines pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Milky Way Skyscape over Mangaia

Tunc Tezel

This heavenly view of the Milky Way was taken in the South Pacific paradise of Mangaia, the most southerly of the Cook Islands. This image was chosen as one of the winners of the National Maritime Museum's Astrophotographer of the Year 2011 Contest.

Shot Through the Heart

ESO/Yuri Beletsky

Three of the four 8.2-m telescopes forming ESO's VLT are seen dimly, with a laser beaming out from Yepun, Unit Telescope number 4. The laser points at the Galactic Center of the Milky Way, our galaxy. The bright object at center is Jupiter, while the other is Antares.

Paranal-mal Activity

ESO

The Milky Way shines in all its majesty, as well as the Magellanic Clouds on the right. Some of the docking stations for the Auxiliary Telescopes of the VLTI lie in the foreground.

Star Streams of Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy

Amanda Smith, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge

Artist's concept of the four tails of the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy (orange clump on left of the image) orbiting the Milky Way. The bright yellow circle to the right of the Milky Way's center is our sun (not to scale). We can see the Sagittarius galaxy's star tails stretching across the sky.

The Milky Way over the Isle of Sark

Martin Morgan-Taylor

Stargazers on the Isle of Sark, in the Channel Islands off the coast of England, enjoy the wonder of the Milky Way.

World's Largest Milky Way Image Unveiled

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Wisconsin

A section of the largest image of the Milky Way ever created. It was stitched together from 800,000 individual infrared images taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Are the Stars Out Tonight?

ESO/Y. Beletsky

Wednesday, April 6, 2011: In Chile's Atacama Desert, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds — satellite galaxies of our own — glow brightly at the left. The Milky Way, our galaxy, appears brightly on the horizon, while the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope stands at the right.

--Tom Chao

The Milky Way Above Seigneur's Mill on Sark

Martin Morgan-Taylor

The Milky Way glows above Seigneur's Mill on Sark.

Milky Way Canary Islands

Terje Sorgjerd (www.tesophotography.com)

A still from a time-lapse video made by photographer Terje Sorgjerd of the night sky as seen from the Canary Islands.

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