The 100 Most Amazing Space Photos of 2017

Snow Moon Eclipse

Chris Cook Photography

Chris Cook captured this photo of the moon near maximum penumbral lunar eclipse on Feb. 10, 2017 from his observatory in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

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'Delicate Night Sky'

Chris Pruzenski

A bright and vivid Milky Way glistens over Delicate Arch, a natural sandstone structure in Arches National Park in Utah. Photographer Chris Pruzenski brought his cousin (pictured) to the park, which is known for having dark skies, for a private lesson in Astrophotography 101.

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Venus & the Moon

John Chumack/

Venus and the crescent moon dominate the morning sky in this photo by astrophotographer John Chumack. The brilliant celestial pair rose together before dawn on Monday (May 22). Chumack captured this view from his driveway in Dayton, Ohio shortly before 6 a.m. local time.

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'Alien' Glow Over ALMA

S. Fandango/ESO

An eerie green glow illuminates the European Southern Observatory's Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a group of 66 telescopes in Chile's Atacama Desert. Green lights flash to signal that the telescope is in use (and definitely has nothing to do with aliens).

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Crescent Moon & Venus

ESO/Y. Beletsky

A big, bright Venus dominates the sky beside a tiny sliver of a crescent moon in this photo by European Southern Observatory photographer Yuri Beletsky. The stunning celestial pair rose within just a few degrees of each other in the early morning sky on May 22, 2017.

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Blue Jets Captured by Gemini Observatory Cloud Cam

Gemini Observatory/AURA/Frankie Lucena

The Gemini Observatory cloud cam on Mount Kea in Hawaii captured imagery of jet lightning, also known as gigantic jets. Enhanced using Adobe Premiere and Photoshop by Frankie Lucena.

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NGC 1512 & NGC 1510

Warren Keller/Steve Mazlin/Mark Hanson/Rex Parker/Tommy Tse/Pete Proulx/David Plesko/SSRO

What looks like a big, bright star to the left of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1512 is actually a much smaller, lenticular galaxy named NGC 1510. This violently interacting galactic pair is located in the Dorado Group about 40 million light-years away from Earth. A team of astronomers at the Star Shadows Remote Observatory near La Serena, Chile imaged the distant galaxies in 2016.

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Earthshine on the Crescent Moon

Jennifer Rose Lane/@Jens_Starry_Sky

As sunlight illuminates a small sliver of the crescent moon, the rest of the moon's face is faintly lit by Earthshine, a subtle glow created by light reflecting off the surface of the Earth. Astrophotographer Jennifer Rose Lane captured this stunning view of the waning crescent moon from Chapmanville, West Virginia on Nov. 15, just three days before the invisible new moon will rise into the morning sky.

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Looking for 2014 MU69


Scientists with the International Occultation Timing Association joined with NASA's New Horizons team watch an occultation of the Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69 from the Karoo desert near Vosburg, South Africa on June 2-3. During the occultation, the icy space rock passed in front of a distant star and was visible with a telescope for about two seconds. The Horizons spacecraft will fly past it on New Year’s Day 2019.

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The California Nebula

Ron Brecher

This long, faint cloud of interstellar gas and dust is the emission nebula NGC 1499. Because of its shape, astronomers nicknamed it the California Nebula. It lies about 1,000 light-years away in the constellation Perseus.

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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.