Spectacular Night Sky Photos by Stargazers: December 2013 (Gallery)

International Space Station Transits Moon by Juan Gonzalez-Alicea

Juan Gonzalez-Alicea / Sociedad de Astronomia del Caribe

This image shows the International Space Station transiting the Moon. Juan Gonzalez-Alicea captured the image on Dec. 6 from western Puerto Rico using a Canon 7D with a 300 mm lens. [Read the Full Story Behind this Photo Here]

Christmas Auroras by Chad Blakely: Dec. 25, 2013

Chad Blakely/Lights Over Lapland

This still from veteran aurora photographer Chad Blakely's video of Christmas auroras on Dec. 25, 2013 shows the northern lights over Abisko National Park in Sweden. [Watch the Full Video Here]

Star Trails and Milky Way Shine over Lighthouse by Mike Taylor

© Mike Taylor - Taylor Photography

Mike Taylor combined 65 frames from a static time lapse of our host galaxy, the Milky Way, to create this composite image. The photo was captured from Pemaquid, Maine on June 16, 2013 at 11:32 p.m. to 12:10 a.m. local time using a Nikon D7000 camera and Tokina 11-16 @ 11mm f/2.8 – 65 x 25 sec - ISO 2000. [Read the Full Story Behind the image]

Aurora Over Maine Farmhouse by Taylor

© Mike Taylor - Taylor Photography

The night sky is an amazing place filled with planets, auroras and other dazzling wonders. See amazing photos of the night sky and the sun sent in by SPACE.com readers for December 2013.

Tarantula Nebula by Fred Herrmann

Fred Herrmann | Owl Mountain Observatory

The Tarantula Nebula is located in the southern constellation Dorado (Dolphin Fish), 160,000 light-years from Earth. Fred Herrmann of Huntsville, Ala. captured this image remotely from Siding Springs, Australia. It was released to SPACE.com on Dec. 1, 2013. [Read the Full Story Behind this Image Here]

Avid Stargazer Snaps Image of Beautiful Comet Lovejoy

Victor Rogus

Victor Rogus sent SPACE.com this great image of Comet Lovejoy taken on Nov. 30, 2013 from Jadwin, Mo. The photo is a 79-second exposure made at f9 with a 5-inch apochromatic refractor. “I chose a blistering ISO of 6400, that added some graininess, but this fast speed seemed to capture some detail in the comet's tail that slower speeds were just not picking up as well,” Rogus wrote SPACE.com in an email. “Never seems to be a perfect solution, we just do the best we can.”

Stargazer Snaps Stunning Image of Comet Lovejoy and Meteor

Victor Rogus

Victor Rogus sent SPACE.com this stunning photograph taken on Dec. 12, 2013 from Jadwin, Mo. He used a cannon 60Da astro camera on a Losmandy GM-8 GEM with ISO selected at 800 and exposure of 53 seconds at f3.2, through a Carl Zeiss manual focus 50mm lens. “As I worked in the cold, a few bright meteors lit up the morning sky. Geminids, I thought, then in this, my last image I noticed a small meteor trail seemingly quite close to Comet Lovejoy,” Rogus wrote SPACE.com. “Perhaps this is an illusion, a trick of the light, or maybe this photograph captured one of those reported ‘sparks.’ I do not know for sure, but this, my latest meeting with the beautiful comet, left me feeling as though I had accomplished what I had set out to do.”

Jupiter by Andrew Kwon

Andrew Kwon

Andrew Kwon took this image of Jupiter on Nov. 20 from his backyard observatory in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. [Read the Story Behind the Photo Here]

2013 Geminid Meteor Over Alaska #2

Deborah Culver

Astrophotographer Deborah Culver sent in a photo of a Geminid meteor taken at the Glen Alps Trailhead, Chugach State Park, Anchorage, Alaska on Dec. 8, 2013. [See More Amazing Geminid Meteor Shower Photos for 2013 Here]

Cosmic 'Tadpoles' in Celestial Sea

Steve Coates | www.CoatesAstrophotography.com

Astrophotographer Steve Coates captured this beautiful image of cosmic 'tadpoles' in space created by dust from an emission nebula and stellar winds from a nearby star cluster. See how he did it here. [Read Full Story]

2013 Geminid Meteor Shower over Boulder, Colorado

Cody Limber

Astrophotographer Cody Limber sent in a composite image of Geminid meteors falling over Boulder, CO, on Dec. 14, 2013. He writes: "I used 25 out of the 600 images that I took over the course of the night to make this composite shot. To capture the shot, I set my camera on interval shooting mode starting at about 12:30 and ending at around 3 am. During this time the moon set and the sky became perfectly clear. I was worried that clouds might be a problem because when I looked outside at 9:00 it was completely cloudy, but fortunately it cleared up at around 1:00 am, and I was able to get the shot." [See More Amazing Geminid Meteor Shower Photos for 2013 Here]

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Space.com Staff
News and editorial team

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.