Top five astronomy images of 2015

As we end come to an end of the year, I realized something. 2015 was an amazing year for science and space technology, from Blue Origins and their reusable rocket landing project to the Pluto Flyby, as well as discovering potential Earth-like planets. How cool has this year been?

Well, seeing as I’m so happy to be a part of the science field and ecstatic about all the discoveries people have made/will continue to make, I’ve decided to reflect on some of my favorite space photos from the past year.

5. A rocket leaving Earth’s atmosphere

Rocket leaving atmosphere

How cool is that? I’ve always had a thing for space crafts and rockets, so to see it from this perspective made me really happy. Even if you’ve seen something similar before, this is by far my favorite and I just like the picture in general. It was taken from a commercial airliner! That’s insane.

(Credit: cunninghamslaws via Reddit)

4. Earth, Moon, Venus, and Jupiter lined up

Earth, Moon, Venus, Jupiter // Scott Kelly

Astronaut Scott Kelly is known for his work on the ISS. I’ve written about him before here when there was some UFO controversy on one of his pictures. Kelly posted loads of pictures from his perspective on the International Space Station. They’re absolutely stunning! This particular one is a lineup of the Earth, moon, Venus, and Jupiter. The way this happens is when the planets orbit, there is a particular moment in time where they all line up and something like this could happen. For a better explanation, check out this cool video about the planets orbiting! You can even view the reddit page and read the comments with everybody talking about how this was made possible!

(Photo by Scott Kelly. Twitter , Instagram via Reddit)

3. Saturn’s North Pole Storm

Storm on Saturn //

Look at how beautiful this looks. Breathtaking, isn’t it? This red, dusty circle is exactly what the title said – a storm on the north pole area of Saturn. Apparently, is about 17,000 miles across (way bigger than Earth!) and rotates at an average of about 11 hours. The outer edge moves at about 5,000 mph. Isn’t that incredible? Definitely earned its spot on my list.

(Credit: NASA via Reddit)

2. Pluto’s Moon Charon

Pluto's moon Charon //

This lovely photo of Pluto’s moon Charon was released by NASA on October 1st. After the Pluto Flyby, New Horizons sent back this beautiful picture of the moon. I could go on and on about how much I adore this photo, especially since Pluto is my favorite (ex) planet, but you can all see for yourself how cool this is.

“It looks like the entire crust of Charon has been split open. With respect to its size relative to Charon, this feature is much like the vast Valles Marineris canyon system on Mars,” said John Spencer, deputy lead for GGI at the Southwest Research Institute (via NASA).

Check out this flyby video of the moon!

(Credit: NASA via Reddit)

1. Pillars of Creation taken on a new lens

Pillars of Creation // NASA

Back in 1995, NASA took pictures of these trunks in which they ended up calling Pillars of Creation. These photos you see are located about 7,000 light years away from our home planet, in the Eagle Nebula. They’re made of interstellar gas and dust, and they are in the process of creating new stars – hence the name. Fun fact: The pillar on the left, from its base to the very top, is four light years long!

At the beginning of this year, NASA released this second image you see above (to the right). Same picture as the one back in 1995, but this time we get to see it again in higher quality. This, my friends, is one of my all time favorite pictures. It’s so mysterious and mesmerizing, I just can’t get over it.

Also, don’t be fooled! The picture does say 2014, making it seem like I’m getting a picture from nearly two years ago. But NASA released the picture/article in January of this year! Check it out in the credit link below.

(Credit: NASA via Reddit )

Like I said before, 2015 was a wonderful year for science and technology. I’m ecstatic that I got a chance to see these photos, and I hope you are too! Feel free to share some of your favorite astronomy photos with us on our Twitter / Facebook! I’d love to see them.

PS: We are still recruiting science writers! Check out how to become part of the team here.

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Amber Karpaty
Amber Karpaty 215 posts

You may or may not have seen me dancing around on our YouTube channel. I really love psychology and dissecting shows/film. Also your token anime nerd.