Spinning Fire Under the Milky Way Makes an Awesome Photo

Steel Wool Selfie and Milky Way
This image was taken by Nimit Nigamfrom Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India on Sept. 17, 2015. (Image credit: Nimit Nigam)

Resembling a thousand sparklers on fire, this stunning image pits the shining Milky Way as a backdrop to the spinning landscape below.

This unique method of photography is called steel wool spinning. This image was taken by Nimit Nigam from Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India on Sept. 17.

Steel wool spinning uses wire wool to create the dramatic lines of fire. Burning steel wool is potentially dangerous. Don’t underestimate the potential danger and wear protective clothing, have a fire extinguisher as well as safety goggles. Never perform this technique in an enclosed area and near anything that can be set alight. [The 101 Best Night Sky Photos of 2015]

Our host galaxy, the Milky Way, is a barred spiral galaxy seen as a band of light in the night sky. It stretches between 100, 000 and 120,000 light-years in diameter. It is estimated that the galaxy has approximately 400 billion stars. At the center of our galaxy lies a gigantic black hole billions of times the size of the sun. 

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by our readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share with us and our news partners for a possible story or image gallery, send images and comments in to Managing Editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

Follow us @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook and Google+. Original story on Space.com.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Contributing Writer and Producer

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.