The 100 Most Amazing Space Photos of 2017

The Iris Nebula

Terry Hancock

The beautiful, blue Iris Nebula shines brightly in a cloud of interstellar dust in this image by astrophotographer Terry Hancock. A central hot star named SAO 19158 illuminates the entire nebula as its brilliant light scatters on the surrounding dust particles.

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Messier 77


The active galactic nucleus at the core of the spiral galaxy Messier 77 (also known as NGC 1068) glows brightly in this image from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in northern Chile. This luminosity comes from a supermassive black hole that is spewing high-energy radiation into its surroundings.

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Into the Eclipse

Josh Spradling

As the moon's shadow moved over Glendo, Wyoming on Monday morning, one lucky photographer accidentally captured this photo of an airplane flying into the eclipse.

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The Bubble Nebula

Jeffrey O. Johnson/

In this view of NGC 7635, also known as the Bubble Nebula, a "bubble" of stellar wind expands around a massive star. Hot, ionized hydrogen gas illuminates the bubble, which measures about 6 light-years across. The bubble is located in a dark molecular cloud roughly 7,100 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia. To the right of the glowing red bubble is the bright blue star HD 115198. Astrophotographer Jeff Johnson captured this image from his backyard in Las Cruces, New Mexico using a Takahashi TOA-130F telescope.

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Geminid Meteor Shower

Tyler S. Leavitt

A Geminid meteor crosses the sky behind a tree in the Mojave desert in this photo by Tyler Leavitt. [The 2017 Geminid Meteor Shower: Amazing Photos by Stargazers]

Spaghetti Nebula

Ron Brecher

Meet Simeis 147, a tangled heap of cosmic clouds also known as the Spaghetti Nebula. Resembling a lumpy, sauce-covered meatball, the nebula measures about 150 light-years across and is located 3,000 light-years from Earth. Simeis 147 is a supernova remnant that was born when a massive star exploded some 40,000 years ago. Astrophotographer Ron Brecher captured this view of the nebula from his backyard SkyShed observatory in Guelph, Canada.

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Full Thunder Moon sets behind the Statue of Liberty

Gowrishankhar L.

The full Thunder Moon sets behind the Statue of Liberty in New York City in this composite image taken on July 9.

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Airplane Crosses the Supermoon

Bill Ingalls/NASA

An airplane crosses in front of the supermoon in this animated series of shots by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls. The plane had just taken off from Ronald Reagan International Airport in Washington, D.C. when Ingalls captured these images on Dec. 3, 2017.

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Milky Way Over Chile

ESO/B. Tafreshi (

The Milky Way glistens over the European Southern Observatory's guest house "Residencia" at Cerro Paranal, an astronomical observatory in the Atacama desert of northern Chile. Cerro Paranal is home to the Very Large Telescope, which is surrounded by four smaller Auxiliary Telescopes, one of which is shown 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.