1. Our remarkable corner of the Universe
Astro-photography has improved enormously in the last few years. Even amateurs can now take great images of distant nebulae thousands of light years away.
But in recent years, it has been the local neighbourhood that has more often surprised us.
From icy mountains at the edge of the Solar System, to solar flares that would dwarf Earth, it seems wherever we look, there are surprises to be found. Here are 10 of the most breath-taking sights in our own back yard.
3. The tools of the trade
It is both the camera technology and our ability to put those cameras in new places that is the key to gathering these incredible images. Click on each ‘tool’ to reveal a key image taken with it.
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Images courtesy of NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS, JHUAPL, SwRI, Ames, ESA, D. Jewitt (UCLA)
4. Not just photographs
In 2016, NASA watched something that happens only once every decade for observers on Earth - Mercury passing in front of the Sun. It produced this awe-inspiring video.
Video courtesy of NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio.