The Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, swirl over a fjord. The Pleiades star cluster, the Seven Sisters, appears at the upper right.
BABAK TAFRESHI/National Geographic Creative
The Milky Way shines over the Grand Teton mountain range.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, United States.
On a starry night the Milky Way shows its magnificent beauty over snow-covered Austrian Alps in Tyrol. Austria is one of the few European countries where it is still possible to see truly dark skies, thanks to high mountains and low population.
Colorful trees and their reflection in water, rugged mountains, and a browsing deer in a scenic autumn landscape.
Yosemite National Park, California.
The Milky Way above towering giant Sequoia trees, some of the largest and tallest trees on Earth.
The Milky Way over the Teton Range.
The arc of the Milky Way rises above the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain.
The beautiful Milky Way, far from city light pollution, reflected in a calm body of water. The night sky is an essential element of our nature, a heritage to preserve for all livings on this planet.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
The summer Milky Way and green air glow in a dark starry sky over Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
The southern Milky Way and Magellanic clouds over Kilimanjaro. The red cloud is the Carina Nebula.
Amboseli National Park, Kenya.
A woman enjoys the aurora borealis, bursting in colorful rays. Venus is at the lower right.
The city lights of Rio, seen from the peak of Sugar Loaf Mountain.
Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
On a starry night the Milky Way shows its magnificent beauty over snow-covered Austrian Alps.
The Milky Way and planet Venus over an acacia tree in the evening.
Kenya. Samburu National Reserve, Kenya.
View of the aurora borealis, northern lights, rand moon reflected in a fjord.
A man in a slot canyon eroded by flash floods carrying abrasive sand particles.
Antelope Canyon, Page, Arizona.
The Milky Way and its bright galactic bulge towards constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius.
Cerro Paranal, Atacama Desert, Chile.
The bulge of the Milky Way, blue zodiacal light, and a satellite flare over the Atacama and Pacific.
Full moon rising over the Pacific, from the Christo Redentor statue.
Christo Redentor, Mount Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The southern Milky Way, the Large Magellanic Cloud, and the Carina Nebula, on the horizon.
Lake Turkana, Sibiloi National Park, Kenya.
Constellation Orion and the great Orion Nebula over Mount Thamserku.
Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal.
Moonlight on the Atlantic Ocean; Sirius, the brightest star, and Mount Teide volcano.
Atlantic Ocean, La Palma Island, Canary Islands, Spain.
A woman enjoys the aurora borealis over the Atlantic. Venus is near center. Orion is on the left.
The Southern Cross and Milky Way over a tree. The Carina Nebula is the red cloud at top.
An atmospheric halo around the full moon, shining through passing clouds.
Saarlouis, Saarland, Germany.
Mars at its brightest and winter stars over Mt. Taftan.
Mount Taftan, Khash, Sistan and Baluchistan, Iran.
The Milky Way appears over the European Southern Observatory.
Atacama Desert, Chile.
The summer Milky Way appears dazzling over Yellowstone National Park.
The Milky Way, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Lagoon Nebula, Sagittarius Star Cloud, and Antares.
Stars trail around the north celestial pole in a moonlit time exposure. Aspen trees in autumn hues along cast reflections in the water.
Steam rising from a geothermal hot spring under the moon and star Capella at dawn.
Black Pool, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
The Magellanic Clouds, our neighboring dwarf galaxies, seen through clouds over Mount Kilimanjaro.
The aurora borealis over water and mountains. Jupiter in the constellation Taurus, on upper left.
Tromso, Norwegian Sea, Norway.
A time-exposure image of the setting stars in a moonlit night in form of colorful star trails.
Bright star Capella over Mount Everest. On the right is Mount Lhotse. A stupa in the foreground.
Milky Way at dusk above Uluru, or the Ayers Rock, a world heritage site in Australia and most sacred to aboriginal culture.
Uluru National Park, Northern Territory, Australia.
Bright southern star Canopus near the horizon. Sirius, the brightest star, in Canis Major.
La Palma Island, Canary Islands, Spain.
A fish-eye view of the Milky Way above giant sequoia trees on a starry autumn night.
Close up surface detail of a twisted bristlecone pine tree. The trees are believed to live longer than any other known organism, up to 5,000 years.
Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah.
The starry night sky above Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve. In the background is Lake Alqueva, formed in 2002 by the Alqueva dam.
Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve, Alentejo, Portugal.
Winter stars and the planet Jupiter in the starry sky over Death Valley. The city lights of Las Vegas appear on the horizon.
Death Valley National Park, California.
Moments before sunrise at the edge of Furnas crater lake.
Sao Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal.
A stargazer points at the constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius at the Cerro Paranal Observatory.
A 300-degree panorama of the night sky above some of the world's major telescopes.
Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma Island, Canary Islands, Spain.
The Milky Way, Large Magellanic Cloud, bright star Canopus, Carina Nebula, zodiacal light, and Leo.
A starry sky over the Zagros Mountains after a snowstorm. The setting moon shines on the peaks.
Zagros Mountains, Natanz, Iran.
Strong and colorful aurora borealis. In the foreground is iconic Kirkjufell volcano.
Moonlight on the Atlantic Ocean, with bright star Sirius almost above Mount Teide volcano.
The summer Milky Way in a dark starry sky over Yellowstone National Park.
Stargazers enjoy the starry sky over Caldera de Taburiente National Park. The Milky Way dominates the sky, and red bands of air glow appear on the left.
Caldera de Taburiente National Park, La Palma Island, Canary Islands, Spain.
Sandstone walls of a slot canyon eroded by flash floods carrying abrasive sand particles.
The Milky Way and the constellation Gemini, the Twins, appear over Half Dome, a giant granite dome left by glacier movement.
A moonlit autumn night on the Merced River, with golden aspen trees. Orion over Sentinel Dome.
Bright star Sirius and constellation Orion over the Merced River in moonlight.
Bright star Sirius and constellation Orion over the Merced River in moonlight, with aspen trees.
Steam rising from a geothermal hot spring under a starry sky at dawn.
Abyss Pool, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
The moon in the morning sky at the steaming West Thumb Geyser Basin, on Yellowstone Lake.
West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
Constellations Orion and Eridanus. Bright southern star Achernar, is the southern end of Eridanus.
The Milky Way and zodiacal light over the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory.
The sun setting behind mountains over Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A man photographing the Aurora Borealis.
Kiruna, Lapland, Sweden.
Stars, constellations, and nebulae over a moonlit landscape of ice penitentes.
Llano de Chajnantor Observatory, San Pedro de Atacama, Atacama Desert, Chile.
A time-exposure image showing star trails created by Earth's rotation. The north star, Polaris, is over Geghard Monastery, a World Heritage Site. A bright meteor streaks through the star trails.
Geghard Monastery, Armenia.
The northern stars circle around the north celestial pole, Polaris, in this time-exposure image.
The Milky Way over the Cerro Paranal Observatory.
A couple enjoy a view of the aurora borealis, or northern lights, above the Atlantic Ocean.
The night sky over the Teton Mountains.
Minerals along the edge of Black Pool, a geothermal hot spring in the West Thumb Geyser Basin.
The sandstone walls of a slot canyon eroded by flash floods carrying abrasive sand particles.
A moonlit autumn night with Orion over aspen trees. Higher up is planet Jupiter, in Taurus.
A moonlit autumn night with Polaris, and constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor over aspen trees.
Starry sky with planet Saturn, the bright spot in constellation Virgo.
Austrian Alps, Carinthia, Austria.
Milky Way, Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, green and red airglow at one of Earth's darkest areas.
The summer Milky Way in the dark starry sky over Yellowstone National Park.
Night view of the Eiffel Tower and colorful lights.
Seine River, Paris, France.
The summer Milky Way and stars above silhouetted evergreen trees.
Latemar Mountain, Dolomite Mountains, Italy.
A moonlit night with a starry sky in Atacama Desert.
Venus and zodiacal light shine above a stargazer in the desert.
A time-exposure image of star trails over the ALMA radio telescopes, 5000 meters high in the Andes.
San Pedro de Atacama, Chajnantor Plateau, Andes Mountains, Antofagasta, Chile.
A bright meteor shoots across the sky near Jupiter.
Giant sequoia trees tower above a golden aspen tree on a starry autumn night.
Panoramic nightscape of giant Sequoia trees, among the largest and tallest trees on Earth.
The Milky Way above giant Sequoia, and other trees, among the largest and tallest trees on Earth.
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