Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

120,509 subscribers and counting ...

Photos

Best photos: Comet Siding Spring sweeps past Mars

Comet Siding Springs sweeps past Mars on October 19, 2014, via Rolando Ligustri.

Comet Siding Springs sweeps past Mars on October 19, 2014, via Rolando Ligustri. Used with permission.

Hurtling through space at about 35 miles (56 kilometers) per second, Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) swept closest to Mars on October 19, 2014. It swept extremely close to the planet, closer than any known comet in recorded history. We’re just beginning to see the photos from this event. See the best ones here …

4 a.m aurora

Photo credit: Colin Chatfield

Photo credit: Colin Chatfield

Colin Chatfield wrote from Canada:

It was very windy out, so some of the trees appear blurry. The full moon was also behind me, so I was able to use that as a natural light source for the foreground.

Comet Siding Spring near M6

Photo by Rolando Ligustri

Photo by Rolando Ligustri

Rolando Ligustri in Italy caught Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring passing nearly in front of M6 – sometimes called the Butterfly Cluster – in the tail of the constellation Scorpius on October 9. Professional astronomers recently announced the comet began losing brightness in September. But it is still beautiful, and still has a sweeping comet tail. Its close encounter with the planet Mars on October 19 – one week from today – is much anticipated.

One of the sharpest images ever obtained of Mercury

Very closeup look at planet Mercury.  Image obtained on August 3, 2014, via NASA / JHU / APL MESSENGER spacecraft.

Very closeup look at a small crater on the planet Mercury. Image obtained on August 3, 2014, via NASA / JHU / APL MESSENGER spacecraft.

This unnamed crater is only 1.5 kilometers / 0.93 miles wide. It’s made more visible by the deep shadows cast on a Mercury afternoon.

See it! Best photos of October 8 total lunar eclipse

Mike Mezeul II shared this great eclipse pic at EarthSky Facebook.  Read more about this image.

Mike Mezeul II shared this great eclipse pic at EarthSky Facebook.

A beautiful total lunar eclipse. Thanks to all who posted at EarthSky Facebook and G+!

Rosetta’s comet is spouting jets

View larger. |

Image via ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

As Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko gets closer to the sun, it’s becoming more active. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft – which has been flying in tandem with the comet since August 6 – captured the images to make the above montage on September 26, 2014, when Rosetta was 16 miles (26 kilometers) from the comet. The montage shows jets of dust and gas escaping from the neck of 67P/C-G.

Sunset in Glacier National Park

Photo credit: Sashikanth Chintia Photography

Photo credit: Sashikanth Chintia Photography


Beautiful sunset in northern Montana’s Glacier National Park by Sashikanth Chintia Photography

Astrophotographer’s self-portrait

Photo by Daniel McVey, September 2014.  Visit Daniel McVey's website.

Self Portrait – Astrophotographer on Jeep. Photo by Daniel McVey, September 2014.

Daniel McVey in Summit County, Colorado has contributed some of the most beautiful images to our pages. He posted this one on EarthSky Facebook and wrote:

Inspired in part by a photo of Ansel Adams on his “Woody.”

Milky Way over Green Lake, in Horsham, Australia

Photo by Lynton Brown Landscapes in Australia.  Visit Lynton Brown's Facebook page.

View larger. | Photo by Lynton Brown Landscapes in Australia. Visit Lynton Brown’s Facebook page.

Lynton Brown stitched together 9 portrait images to show the Milky Way over Green Lake, in Horsham, Australia on September 21, 2014. The glow above the water on the right – behind the tree – are town lights over Horsham. And the mysterious glow on the left? It’s the elusive zodiacal light.

Sun kissed

VegaStar Carpentier in France submitted this photo, titled

VegaStar Carpentier in France submitted this photo, titled “Sun Kissed.” Thank you, VegaStar.

A beautiful photo to honor the sun at the equinox.