Mars and the 'Blood Moon' Over Antarctica
The year 2018 revealed some truly amazing views of Earth, the planets and the cosmos, and we've got the photos to prove. Check out 100 of the most amazing space photos of the year here.
Can you tell the Red Planet and the "blood moon" apart in this photo? The two objects paired up in the night sky during the longest total lunar eclipse of the century on July 27, 2018. That same day, Mars was at opposition and glowing bigger and brighter than usual. Researcher and astrophotographer Robert Schwartz captured this snowy scene from the South Pole. During the eclipse, the moon appeared even redder than the Red Planet. [Amazing Photos: The 'Blood Moon' Eclipse and Mars Opposition of July 27, 2018]
Northern Lights Over the Aurora Ice Museum
Green and purple northern lights shimmy over the Aurora Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs near Fairbanks, Alaska in this image by astrophotographer John Chumack. He took the photo on March 24, 2018 during a minor geomagnetic storm caused by a coronal hole on the sun, which sent a stream of solar particles toward Earth. Those particles interact with Earth's atmosphere to create colorful auroras.
"The Galactic Tree of Life"
The Milky Way beams from the top of a tree at Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, in this photo by astrophotographer John Chumack. Mars is visible in the lower left, Saturn is in the upper left and Jupiter can be seen to the far right.
The Brightest Comet of 2018
Astrophotographer Gerald Rhemann captured this image of Comet 46P/Wirtanen on Dec. 4, 2018 from Farm Tivoli, Namibia.
Perseids, Mars and the Milky Way
Dozens of Perseid meteors appear to sprint toward the Milky Way over Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park in this composite taken by astrophotographer Cody Limber. "I backpacked into the dunes to make sure that I was far away from all other lights," Limber told Space.com. "Although I got incredibly sandy, it was worth it and I managed to capture a ton of meteors throughout the night!" Mars is also visible in this photo, glowing brighter than any other star in the sky. Limber captured this photo during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower on Aug. 12, 2018. [The Dazzling Perseid Meteor Shower of 2018 in Photos]
Geminids Meet Comet 46P
The bright-green, naked-eye comet 46P/Wirtanen looms above the horizon while meteors appear to rain down on the Pigeon Point Lighthouse in Pescadero, California, during the Geminid meteor shower of 2018.
Super Blue Blood Moon
Astrophotographer Sergio Garcia Rill captured this composite image of the Super Blue Blood Moon of Jan. 31 over Houston, Texas. [In Photos: The Rare Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse of 2018
'The Road to Mars'
The Red Planet outshines all the stars in the sky in this photo by astrophotographer John Chumack. He captured the photo on May 16, about a month before Mars reached opposition, when it was the brightest it has been since 2003.
Comet 21P and Messier 35
Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner passes in front of Messier 35 in this image captured by astrophotographer Chris Schur on Sept. 15, 2018. Messier 35 is a cluster of stars located approximately 2,800 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Gemini. When Schur took this photo of 21P, the comet was about 37 million miles away from Earth. It reached perihelion — or the point in its orbit at which it is closest to the sun — on Sept. 10. [Amazing Photos: The Comets 21P/Giacobini-Zinner and 46P/Wirtanen of 2018]
Dutch pilot Peter Horstink snapped this photo over Khartoum, Sudan 2 hours and 15 minutes after the Zuma spacecraft's launch. [Full Story: Strange Sky Spiral May Come from Secretive SpaceX Zuma Launch]
'Lonely Shadow in a Desert of Stars'
A skywatcher gazes up at the Milky Way from Zabriskie Point in California's Death Valley National Park in this single-exposure shot by astrophotographer Miguel Claro. [Full Story: Milky Way Glistens Over Stargazer in Death Valley National Park]