When one U.K.-based astrophotographer picked up a camera less than two years ago, he became an ardent night sky photographer with an inspiring back-story.
The photographer, Connor Hicks, captured these stunning images near his home in home in Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
"I've spent many hours over the last year staring into space while my cameras taking the hundreds of photos to make the star trails. I find star trails the most interesting subject, although it takes a long time to do, the end results can be totally unique and amazing," Hicks wrote in an email to Space.com. [Amazing Star Trail Photos from Space]
Hicks picked up photography after he was involved in a motorcycle accident. While healing, Hicks began to do some urban exploring in his hometown with just mobile phone camera. He soon discovered he enjoyed landscapes and began upgrading his equipment becoming a self-taught photographer along the way.
"I try to take night/star photos as often as I can, but that sometimes proves challenging because I'm from the U.K., so the weather's not always great, and also live in a heavily light-polluted city," Hicks added.
The first image of star trails was created by stacking 100, 30-second exposures to form star trails with a bandstand in the foreground. This star trail image is 141, 30-second exposures with Netley Hospital, a large military hospital near Southampton, England, in the foreground. Star trails are created by long exposure times that cause the stars to appear as if they are trailing in arcs similar to the rotation of the Earth.
This image is cirrus clouds and ice crystals that produced a "moon halo." This lunar halo is formed when light from the moon is diffracted by ice crystals as it passes through Earth's atmosphere. As light bounces off the crystals, a circular pattern is created when the crystals are all of the same general shape. The darker regions within the halo indicate the absence of light hitting those crystals.
To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by SPACE.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.