Best Night Sky Photos of the Week: April 12, 2014

Standing in the Milky Way

Matt Pollock

Astrophotographer Matt Pollock sent in a panoramic image of the Milky Way over Cherry Plain State Park, NY, taken on April 7, 2014. He tells in an e-mail message that the image contains: "6 exposures of mostly sky and 6 of beach, sand, mountain and trees." Mars shines brightly at right, though its red color was washed out by distant lights of a township. Stars Vega, Altair and Deneb stand out in the center of the Milky Way. "W"-shaped constellation Cassiopeia lies in the left end of the band of the Milky Way. To the far left, the Big Dipper and Polaris, the north star, appear. [See more photos here.]

Don’t You Know That You Are a Shooting Star?

ESO/C. Malin

This new image, taken during a time lapse set at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) represents an Ultra High Definition photograph from the ESO Ultra HD Expedition. ALMA stands at 16400 feet (5000 meters) above sea level on the remote, empty Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes. Four ESO Photo Ambassadors, on their 17-day trip, use state-of-the-art Ultra HD tools to capture sights like this one: a shooting star streaking over the ALMA array. The bright star Spica, in Virgo, and planet Mars glow brightly at center. Image released April 7, 2014. [See more photos here.]

Aurora to the Max


: Canada's automated aurora camera tweeted this photo, writing: "AURORAMAX GALLERY • Latest #photo of #aurora borealis above #Yellowknife NWT taken at 03:29 MDT on March 29, 2014.”[See more photos here.]

Capturing the 2000 Lunar Eclipse from 'Hell on Ice'

Victor Rogus.

Despite temperatures that reached 15 degrees below zero and frozen camera film that began to crack, Victor Rogus was able to capture the first total lunar eclipse over North America in the 21st century. [See how it's done.]

Stargazer Captures Stunning Look at Nebula Using Portable Gear

Miguel Claro |

The Great Orion Nebula glows in vivid shades of pink and purple in this stunning photo taken by avid night sky photographer Miguel Claro, who captured the image using portable photo gear for the first time. [See how it's done.]

Zodiacal Light Glows Over Death Valley (Photo)

Steve Zigler

Astrophotographer Steve Zigler created this image in Death Valley, California, during the new moon on Jan. 30, 2014. At center, stretching up, shines an intense display of Zodiacal light. This celestial light phenomenon roughly triangular in shape occurs as a result of sunlight scattering from dust particles lying in the ecliptic, the imaginary plane that contains the planets orbiting the sun. Zodiacal light sometimes goes by the name of "false dawn." [Read the full story here.]

Aurora at Moonlight

Image copyright Mike Taylor - Taylor Photography

The northern lights can be fleeting — sometimes the first shot you take is the best. [See how it's done.]

Dazzling Milky Way Rises Over Maine Lighthouse in Stunning Panorama

A. Garrett Evans |

Veteran astrophotographer A. Garrett Evans of central New Hampshire endured the bitter cold of York, Maine, on March 3 to take this stunning panorama of the Milky Way galaxy and Venus. [Read the full story here.]

Moon and Machine: US Air Force C-17 Jet Creates Lunar Scene Over Japan

U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo

Photographer Osakabe Yasuo captured the stunnin g moon-and-machine snapshot on March 22 from Yokota Air Base, Japan, as a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globmaster III soared with the moon. [Read the full story here.]

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