The 100 Best Space Photos of 2016

'Polar Ring' Galaxy

Ron Brecher

Astrophotographer Ron Brecher took this image of NGC 669, a "polar ring galaxy", from Guelph, Ontario on Sep. 19.Read the full story here.

Harvest Moonrise

Miguel Claro

The Harvest Moon rises over Sesimbra Castle, Portugal. This image was taken by Miguel Claro, who said the disc of the moon reached 100% illumination exactly at the same time it was rising in the Portuguese sky. Read the full story here.

'Ring of Fire' Solar Eclipse

Slooh and Weathernews Japan

A solar eclipse made its way across the African sky on Sept. 1. As the moon crossed the sun's face, the two created a "ring of fire." Pictured here is the annular solar eclipse as seen from Reunion Island, east of Madagascar. Read the full story here.

Milky Way Over Nebraska

Rick Moore

Skywatcher Rick Moore took this image when he was stargazing at the Platte River, in Louisville, Nebraska. Read the full story here.

Perseid Meteors Over Indiana

Alex Paul

Skywatcher Alex Paul created this long-exposure view of the 2016 Perseid meteor shower from northern Indiana while observing the shower's peak on Aug. 11-12.

Dark Snake Nebula

John Chumack |

Astrophotographer John Chumack took this image focusing on Barnard 72, or the Snake Nebula, from John Bryan State Park Observatory in Yellow Springs, Ohio on July 2. Read the full story here.

Rainbow Airglow Over Azores Island

Miguel Claro/

Above the low clouds on Pico Mountain, skywatcher Miguel Claro captured this incredible ‘rainbow airglow’ in March from Pico Island, Azores. Read the full story here.

Cocoon Nebula

Terry Hancock

Located 4,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus, the Cocoon Nebula is surrounded by a bright-red, glowing cloud of hydrogen gas. Read the full story here.

Milky Way and Comet 252P/LINEAR

Jim Abels/

Astrophotographer Jim Abels took this image of a comet and the Milky Way from Montauk, New York in April 2016. Read the full story here.

Morning Milky Way

Matt Pollock

Minutes before clouds gathered over the night sky, astrophotographer Matt Pollock took this image of the Milky Way in March from Cherry Plain State Park in Petersburg, New York. Read the full story here.

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:

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.