The Most Amazing Nebulae Photos Ever Taken

Carina Nebula

This is the absolutely gigantic Carina Nebula. The infrared image taken using ESO’s VLT (Very Large Telescope and yes, that is the actual name) shows details and features previously unseen. Source: European Space Organization

A nebula is basically a giant cloud of gas found in space. The gas in question is mostly hydrogen mixed with helium, dust, other ionized gases and whatever else might be floating around way out there. There was a time when we used the term “nebula” to refer to any astronomical object that was too far away to see clearly, including star clusters and even galaxies.

Nebulae Photos Butterfly

This nebula is officially called NGC 6302, but it’s more popularly referred to as the Butterfly Nebula. Despite its delicate name, the wing-like areas are actually the result of a dying star casting off its gaseous shell during its final moments. Source: Space Telescope

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NASA Can Email Objects To Space

International Space Station commander Barry Wilmore needed a wrench. Normally NASA would send one up on the next mission to the International Space Station. It would arrive eventually, but that would have left Wilmore waiting for months. Instead, NASA “emailed” one to Wilmore and he printed it out right there on the ISS.

NASA emailed a wrench to space

Commander Barry Wilmore with his 3D printed wrench. Source: Wired

Commander Wilmore’s wrench wasn’t the first object 3D printed in space, but it was the first object to be designed on Earth and then transmitted into space for manufacture. California company Made In Space designed the 3D printer Wilmore used as well as the ratcheting socket wrench that made history.

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10 Stargazing Sites To Make You Feel Wonderfully Small

There are very few moments more humbling than when you gaze up at the night sky and see the massive world around us, which nevertheless represents just a tiny fraction of the Universe we live in. At least in theory. If you’re a city dweller, heightened light pollution means that if you bother to look up at all, you’ll see maybe a handful of stars. You really need to be in a dark, cloudless area with a wide sky to enjoy the cosmic spectacle to its fullest. But fear not, fellow stargazer, for such places still exist.

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The Grand Canyon, Arizona

Stargazing Sites Grand Canyon

There are few places out there better for stargazing than the Grand Canyon, which is why “star parties” are regularly hosted here. Best of all, you can marvel at the sky at night and enjoy the magnificence of the canyon during the day. Source: Lightcrafter

Galloway Forest Park, Scotland

Stargazing Sites Galloway

A few hours away from Glasgow, Galloway Forest Park is known as a Dark Sky Park and its primary attraction is, you guessed it, the wonderful night sky. Proving that there are indeed many shades of black, the Dark Sky Association uses the Bortle Scale in order to determine Galloway’s degree of darkness. At Bortle 2, Galloway Forest Park is about as dark as you can get on land. Source: Crichton Cross

Headlands National Park, Michigan

Stargazing Sites Michigan

Another great Dark Sky Park is located in the Michigan Headlands. Besides a great view of the stars, on certain nights you can even see the Northern Lights. Source: Michigan Radio

Westhavelland Dark Sky Reserve, Germany

Stargazing Sites Germany

Just a few hours away from Berlin is the Westhavelland Dark Sky Reserve, a place that offers one of the darkest and clearest skies in all of Europe. Source: Distractify

Atacama Desert, Chile

Stargazing Sites Atacama

If you want to feel like you are on an alien planet while simultaneously gazing at the rest of the Universe, there’s no better place than the Atacama Desert. Several observatories are located here because of the excellent view of the sky. Source: Kit Skinny

Denali National Park, Alaska

Stargazing Sites Alaska

Without a doubt, one of the most wondrous spectacles the sky has to offer is the Northern Lights. If you want to see them in all their splendor, the Denali National Park in Alaska is one of the best places on Earth to do so. Source: Enjoy Your Holiday

National Bridges National Monument, Utah

Stargazing Sites Bridge

If you want a truly unique perspective, head on over to Utah and use the beautiful night sky as the backdrop for the stunning Owachomo natural bridge. Source: NPS

Mont-Megantic Dark Sky Reserve, Canada

Stargazing Sites Canada

Last but not least is Mont-Megantic International Dark Sky Reserve in Canada. It is part of a National Park and also has a state-of-the-art observatory built in order to take advantage of the dark skies lit up only by thousands and thousands of stars. Source: Rice MM

Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Stargazing Sites Hawaii

Because of its elevation and distance from the city lights, Mauna Kea is an ideal spot for stargazing, which is why it also houses some of the most advanced observatories in the world. Pictured here is a rare close encounter between Venus and Jupiter shown in the center. Source: Subaru Telescope

Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand

Stargazing Sites New Zealand

Another place declared a Dark Sky Reserve due to its beautiful night skies, Aoraki Mackenzie is found on the South Island of New Zealand. Getting there might be a bit tricky, but well worth it for enthusiastic stargazers. Source: Land And See

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29 Spellbinding Space Facts That Prove Earth Is Boring

As residents of the Milky Way galaxy, we live in a galaxy that is over 100,000 light years in diameter with over 800 billion stars and planets. And that’s just the Milky Way — scientists have calculated that there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Meaning, we inhabit 1 of over 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in the universe. Enjoy twenty-nine more fascinating space facts from All That Is Interesting that will make your problems feel infinitesimal:

Enjoy our collection of incredible space facts? Then be sure to check out our other posts on interesting facts and amazing facts that will make you the most interesting person in the room!

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