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The 101 Best Night Sky Photos of 2015 by Stargazers

They Say Ocean City's the Place to Be

Jennifer Khordi

Astrophotographer Jennifer Khordi sent in a photo of the night sky seen from the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey. She writes in a email message to Space.com: "I was photographing the rising Milky Way [on Feb. 16, 2015], which was the first time the Milky Way rose before the moon and pre-dawn twilight this Milky Way viewing season. A large, bright green meteor lit up the sky traveling very fast towards the horizon while I was taking this image. The bright object over the ocean was the crescent moon."

The Moon, Venus and Mars Over Manhattan Skyline

Astrophotographer Stan Honda sent in a photo of the moon, Venus and Mars taken in Central Park, Manhattan, New York City, on Feb. 20, 2015. The buildling with two towers in the foreground appears to be the Eldorado apartments at 300 Central Park West.

The Moon, Venus and Mars Seen in North Carolina

Astrophotographer Greg Diesel Walck caught the moon, Venus and Mars through trees in coastal North Carolina on Feb. 20, 2015.

Sandy Point Meteor

Mike Taylor/Mike Taylor Photography

Frigid temperatures usually yield clear skies, but with the massive storms this winter, photographer Mike Taylor had to carefully plan a trip to snap the skies of Sandy Point, Maine, and he was rewarded for his effort: an unexpected fireball above the horizon. [Read the Full Story]

The Milky Way Over Loon Island: A Stargazer's Stunning View (Photo)

This stunning panoramic of the Milky Way shows our host galaxy arching over Lake Sunapee. Astrophotographer A. Garrett Evans took the image Loon Island Lighthouse on Lake Sunapee in Sunapee, New Hampshire on Feb. 28, 2015. [Read the Full Story]

Vortex

Ruslan Merzlyakov

Astrophotographer Ruslan Merzlyakov sent in a image showing a vortex of star trails created using Photoshop. He writes in an email message to Space.com: “I made a ‘selfie’ (yes, I am standing right there) in Stenbjerg, Thy National Park, Denmark.” That location lies on the coast in Northwest Jutland, Denmark. Image submitted March 5, 2015.

'Breaking Twilight'

Astrophotographer Adam Woodworth captured a star-filled night sky over a lighthouse in Maine. He writes in an email message to Space.com: "I'd been hoping to get a Milky Way shot at Portland Head Light for a couple of years now, but I never got out there early enough in the year to capture the Galactic Center before it was too far south for this location. I didn't have a pano[rama] in mind for this originally but as I was planning the shoot I thought I'd give it a try. I haven't tried Milky Way panoramas much, and this is is my first successful one.

"You'll notice that the photo goes from dark on the right to bright on the left. The shots that make up this panorama were taken at the start of astronomical twilight, which means that the sun was approaching the horizon (but still about 90 minutes away from sunrise) and close enough that its scattered light brightens the horizon. The glow starts around the area where the sun will rise, which is why the middle-left side of the image is brighter, and then on the far left it goes into light pollution from the Portland area and gets very bright. But also, the shots took about 15 minutes, so within that time the earlier shots (I started from the right) would be darker than the later shots as the sun was getting closer to the horizon." Image submitted March 2, 2015.

Rare Blue

Mia Stålnacke

Astrophotographer Mia Stålnacke sent in a photo of an auroral display over of Kiruna, Sweden, taken on March 17, 2015. She writes in an email message to Space.com: "Last night was, as you know, spectacular! … I've been shooting the aurora for years now but last night topped everything else! For the first time ever I managed to catch the blue aurora!" Ionized nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere emit the blue color when regaining an electron after ionization.

Aurora Over Northern Michigan

Shawn Malone/LakeSuperiorPhoto

Astrophotographer Shawn Malone sent in a photo of the auroral display of March 17, 2015, taken in northern Michigan.

M42 by Robert Fields

Robert Fields

Robert Fields sent Space.com this image of Messier 42, or the Orion Nebula on March 18, 2014. The image is a compilation of narrowband data in SII, HA and OIII taken from Irvington Observatory of Howell Twp, Mississippi.

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