“Winner” of the “Our Solar System” category in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 exhibition, this space wallpaper gives the viewer a window onto the elusive outer atmosphere of the sun — the corona. The image is a demonstration of both precision timing and rigorous post-processing. A natural dimming of the Sun’s blinding brightness, courtesy of the moon, reveals the ghostly glow of gas that has a temperature of one million degrees Celsius. For centuries total solar eclipses were the only way to study this hidden treasure of the sun. By photographing this event, the breathtaking experience of viewing a total solar eclipse is captured indefinitely. This image was released Sept. 19, 2013.
(Image: © © Man-To Hui | The National Maritime Museum | Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 )