EarthSky’s most popular photos of 2018

Wow! Huge thanks to the EarthSky community for all the images you’ve contributed this year. Here are some of 2018’s most popular photos.

2018’s New Year’s supermoon: It was a great way to start 2018! The year started with a full moon that happened also to be the year’s closest and brightest supermoon. The EarthSky community came through with many photos, including these from Neeti Kumthekar, below. Click here for more photos of 2018’s New Year’s supermoon.

Neeti Kumthekar in Belmar, New Jersey, caught the January 2018 supermoon rising with a mirage effect. The rising or setting moon or sun can exhibit a mirage when there are air layers of different temperatures near your horizon – for example, over an ocean. Read more about mirages from Atmospheric Optics and click here for more supermoon photos.

Full moon eclipse and Mars in late July 2018: Mars was brighter in late July than it had been since 2003. Then – on July 27 – that very bright Mars appeared near the moon as it was undergoing the longest and darkest lunar eclipse of the 21st century. See photos of Mars and the eclipse.

Nima Asadzadeh wrote: “Here’s a photo sequence of the total lunar eclipse … taken from Nandal, northern area of Mount Damavand, Iran. This sequence includes 54 frames which layered to show partial phases of totality. Camera not moved through the entire sequence.” The movement, of course, is from Earth’s rotation. The object below the eclipsed moon is Mars. See more Mars and eclipse photos.

Favorite Perseid meteor shower photos: 2018 was an exceptional year for August’s tried and true Perseid meteor shower. The EarthSky community outdid itself with beautiful photos! See 2018 Perseid meteor shower photos.

Nicholas Holshouser called this meteor: “The ‘Jerry Lee Lewis Great Ball of Fire’ Perseid meteor. Looking west towards the Great Smoky Mountains from an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Taken at 4:38 a.m. on August 13, 2018. The bright train was visible for over a minute and it formed a high vapor cloud and was visible above me for more than 20 minutes as it went overhead.” Click here for more meteor photos.

SpaceX’s cool night launch and landing on October 7: Night launches are always fun, and this October 7 launch by SpaceX – from Vandenberg Air Force Base, north of Los Angeles, California – generated more than its fair share of awesome images. See photos of the October 7 night launch.

“That was amazing!” wrote Joaquin Baldwin on Twitter. “The SpaceX launch from Vandenberg was incredible! I took one long 9-minute photo. The stage 2 cloud was spiraling … what a show!” More photos here.

See it! Images of comet 46P/Wirtanen: Look here for photos and video of 2018’s Christmas comet and brightest comet 46P/Wirtanen. Thanks to all in the EarthSky community who contributed photos of this wonderful and long-lasting sky event! See photos of comet Wirtanen.

Tommy Eliassen Photography caught comet Wirtanen on December 12, 2018, from Bleikvassli, Norway. See more comet photos!

EarthSky 2019 lunar calendars are cool! Order now. Going fast!

Bottom line: Most popular EarthSky photos of 2018.

Eleanor Imster