This stunning image of the Milky Way was taken over Mt. Manaslu in the Himalayas by an amateur astrophotographer with a passion for climbing.
Computer scientist and part-time mountaineer Kuntal A. Joisher, of Mumbai, India, took this image in fall of 2014 during a trek on the mountain.
"And just as dusk turned into night, the Milky Way was right there shining on top of Mt. Manaslu. It was as if a volcano had erupted on top of Mt. Manaslu. One of the most surreal moments I've experienced during my climbs of big mountains!" Joisher wrote in an email to Space.com. [Stunning Photos of Our Milky Way Galaxy]
The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy about 100,000 light-years across. Spiral galaxies make up about two-third of the galaxies in the universe. The spiral arms contain a high amount of dust and gas and constantly form new stars. These arms are contained in what is called the disk of the galaxy. It is only about 1,000 light-years thick.
To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by Space.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.
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Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for Space.com. She began writing and producing content for Space.com in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.