The 100 Best Space Photos of 2016

Falcon 9 Launch

Mike Killian/

Supermoons, meteors and colorful auroras treated skywatchers and astronomers around the world this year. Check out some of the most amazing photos taken by readers in 2016 in this year-end gallery. HERE: Astrophotographer Mike Killian took this image of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket blasting off on May 6 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Click through to see the rest of 2016's best night sky photos.

Jupiter and the Moon

Greg Diesel Walck

Greg Diesel Walck took the image from Moyock, North Carolina as a thunderstorm drifted across the horizon on Aug. 5. Read the full story here.

Spectacular Colors in Chilean Night Sky

Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO

The night sky over the European Southern Observatory's Paranal Observatory in the Chile's Atacama Desert glows colorfully with the stars of the Milky Way, Mars' orange sparkle, many constellations' bright twinkle and even the magenta-burn of the Carina Nebula. This image was taken by astronomer and photographer Yuri Beletskty, part of the 2016 ESO Fulldome Expedition team, and released Sept. 19. Read the full story here.


Jeff Warner

Astrophotographer Jeff Warner took the image of the supermoon rising over Denver as captured from Green Mountain in Lakewood, CO on Nov. 14.

Rare Blue Aurora Shimmers Over Lake Superior

Shawn Malone

Astrophotographer Shawn Malone captured this image of rare blue northern lights over Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan. Read the full story here.

Skydivers Become Shooting Stars

Daniel Lopez | Red Bull Content Pool

Skydivers become shooting stars in this photo of the Perseid meteor shower in August. The long-exposure shot shows wingsuit jumpers in bright LED suits zooming across the night sky. Read the full story here.

Triangulum Galaxy

Chris Schur

This image of M33 was taken by astrophotographer Chris Schur taken from Payson, Arizona in October. Read the full story here.

Helix Nebula

John Chumack |

Astrophotographer John Chumack took this image of the Helix Nebula in September 2016 from Dayton, Ohio.

Airplane Flies Before the Moon

Brian D. Ottum

Astrophotographer Brian Ottum was outside testing out his equipment to prepare for next summer's total solar eclipse when he spotted an airplane heading straight for the moon. With no time to switch his camera settings to turn off the two-second delay timer, Ottum said he "estimated the plane’s speed, held [his] breath and pressed the shutter."

Milky Way and Meteors

Raghu Yadavalli

This image of the Milky Way was captured by astrophotographer Raghu Yadavalli in Banff National Park, Alberta in September.

Iris Nebula

Ron Brecher

Astrophotographer Ron Brecher took this image of the Iris Nebula from Guelph, Ontario on Sep. 10. Read the full story here.

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.