Amazing Night Sky Photos by Skywatchers for December 2014

M45, The Pleiades ('The Seven Sisters')

Jeff Johnson (

The night sky can be an amazing place to look for cosmic wonders. Here: Astrophotographer Jeff Johnson sent in a photo of the Pleiades (AKA "The Seven Sisters" or M45), an open star cluster in Taurus. Johnson is based in the southwestern United States.

Check out more photos of the night sky sent in by readers in December 2014 in this gallery.

Sprites, Gravity Waves and Airglow

Randy Halverson/

Astrophotographer Randy Halverson sent in a frame from a timelapse video taken of a storm in central South Dakota. The image shows sprites as the red flashes above the storm at right. Sprites consiste of large scale electrical discharges that occur high above clouds. Also the green airglow shows gravity waves as faint ripples. Halverson thanks Tom Warner and Dr. Walter Lyons for helping identify gravity waves. Video shot Aug. 20, 2014.

Andromeda and Meteors from Tobias Lookout

Casey James

Astrophotographer Casey James took this image on Aug. 2, 2014 from the Tobias Lookout near Kernville, California. The Milky Way galaxy arcs overhead, with the Andromeda galaxy and two meteors clearly visible. You can seen more of James' night sky photography on Instagram by following @caseyjamesphotography.

2014 Geminid Meteor Shower Over Rhode Island

Manish Mamtani

Astrophotographer Manish Mamtani sent in a photo of the Geminid meteor shower taking place Dec. 13-14 over the Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown, Rhode Island.

Self-Portrait with 2014 Geminid Meteor in Hungary

Béla Papp

Astrophotographer Béla Papp was trying to take a photo of himself before clouds obscured the sky, and managed to capture a Geminid meteor as well. Image taken in Hungary on Dec. 11, 2014.

Aurora on Finland's Independence Day

Thomas Kast

Astrophotographer Thomas Kast sent in a photo of auroras over Vihiluoto, Finland, taken on Dec. 6, 2014, Finnish Independence Day.

2014 Geminid Fireball Over Australia

David Finlay

Astrophotographer David Finlay caught a Geminid fireball streaking across the southern sky near the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Image obtained Dec. 15, 2014, at Saddleback Mountain, Kiama, NSW, Australia.

2014 Geminid Meteor with Light Painting

Jack Suman

Astrophotographer Jack Suman sent in a photo of a Geminid meteor over Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona, on Dec. 13, 2014. He points out that he "painted" the vegetation with a laser pointer.

IC 1396, the Elephant's Trunk Nebula

Kyle Beckstrom

Astrophotographer Kyle Beckstrom submitted a photo of IC 1396, the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, on Nov. 28, 2014. He did not give a location.

Plane and Solar Eclipse

Paul Buckley

Astrophotographer Paul Buckley sent in a photo of a plane crossing the sun taken on Oct. 23, 2014, from the shores of Lake Erie in Buffalo, New York.

Asteroid 4451 Grieve and Horsehead Nebula

Jose Miranda/Astronomical Society of the Caribbean

Astrophotographer Jose Miranda captured an asteroid (marked with arrow) gliding by the Horsehead Nebula. Image submitted Nov. 27. 2014.

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Tom Chao
Tom Chao has contributed to as a producer and writer since 2000. As a writer and editor, he has worked for the Voyager Company, Time Inc. New Media, HarperCollins and Worth Publishers. He has a bachelor’s degree in Cinema Production from the University of Southern California, and a master’s degree from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Tom on Google+.