Out of this World

This is pretty awesome stuff- the top ten astronomy pictures of the year.

My favorite is this one:


38 replies
  1. 1
    CaseyL says:

    Ooh! The Party Favor Nebula! Pull it apart and you get a new Big Bang.

  2. 2
    licensed to kill time says:

    The Party Favor Niebuhr? What do you get when you pull that?

  3. 3
    Radon Chong says:

    These pictures are our civilization’s answer to the pyramids, and are perhaps even more mind blowing.

  4. 4
    Dave C says:

    That Butterfly Nebula pic is my desktop background! :)

  5. 5
    gwangung says:

    Now this is something I don’t mind my tax dollars paying for…

  6. 6
    Don't Mess With Texas says:

    Talk about another world.

    In the conference room, the very first protester to speak said that if the country dissolved, he would move to the first state that seceded.

    You heard it here first – Texas may be the capitol of the New Confederate States of America. Makes sense with Governor Rick Perry and Dubya already there.


  7. 7
    flukebucket says:

    @Dave C: Same here.

  8. 8
    Jamey says:

    It’s humbling to think that God created all that only 6000 years ago!

  9. 9
    Keith G says:

    @CaseyL: Somewhere out there is a civilization which many light years from now will receive our off-cast communications. Once translation achieved, they will be seriously thinking “WTF?”

  10. 10
    Redshirt says:

    For those wondering where the mystical elements of any future, rational based Religion will come from – you’re looking at them. Our reality is wondrous beyond belief. This wonder can fulfill that craving many people have for something bigger than themselves.

    We need a new Carl Sagan to guide us.

  11. 11
    cleek says:

    meh. fake. it’s all part of the conspiracy to bring in the cash for Big Astronomy.

  12. 12
    Madeline says:

    @flukebucket: And Dave C. I’m usually a lurker, but this is too weird. It’s my desktop background too.

  13. 13
    Dave C says:


    Do y’all read Bad Astronomy? That’s where I got it, a few months back. Phil Plait is the man!

  14. 14
    colleeniem says:

    These are truly amazing, I should look at this type of stuff more often.
    It makes my problems seem a lot smaller.

  15. 15
    Betsy says:

    Wow. How incredibly gorgeous. Awesome, in the older sense of the word.

    This one is my favorite.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Ruemara says:


    This. FTW.

  18. 18
    Madeline says:

    @Dave C: No, I’m just addicted to hubblesite.org–that’s where I got it. But I’ll have to check out Bad Astronomy.

  19. 19
    flukebucket says:

    @Dave C: I’ve never read Bad Astronomy before. I picked up on the ten best pictures from a comment somebody left in one of the threads downstream.

    Balloon-Juice is always a treasure trove of links from commenters.

  20. 20
    freelancer says:


    Bad Astronomy is Phil Plait’s blog at Discover. He is an amazing and amusing science writer. Very enthusiastic about the public promotion of science education.

    His book rocks too.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    Origuy says:

    @Dave C: Me too. I’ve used APOD photos as wallpaper for years.

  23. 23
    MR Bill says:

    Here’s my Hubble desktop image: a ring galaxy.

    It’s sometimes depressing that modern religion is not celebrating these images as the sign of a creator’s creativity.

  24. 24
    MR Bill says:

    oh crud.

  25. 25
    asiangrrlMN says:

    My fave is the Lunar abyss staring back at me….Mesmerizing.

  26. 26
    stetson says:

    This is GREAT news for John McCain!

  27. 27
    growingdaisies says:

    Heh heh. I work for Hubble. Really cool to see this thread on what has otherwise been a pretty crappy day.

  28. 28
    kdaug says:

    Collectively, humanity doesn’t know crap.

  29. 29
    freelancer says:

    @MR Bill:

    It’s sometimes depressing that modern religion is not celebrating these images as the sign of a creator’s creativity.

    “In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed”? Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.”
    -Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

  30. 30

    Awesome photos. Even that fake one of the so-called lunar landing.

    @CaseyL: You win the Internets and a bag of chips.

  31. 31
    canuckistani says:

    The lunar landing image is my fave, a) because it’s a gold mine of snarky jokes and b) it is a truly awesome achievement.

  32. 32

    OT: Today in history: D.C. passes equal marriage law. Oral Roberts dies at age 91.

    I could add to this but I don’t want to wind up under the BanHammer.

  33. 33
    kdaug says:


    Damn, I miss Sagan. Grew up on “Cosmos”, had the soundtrack on LP. He was the shiznit.

  34. 34
    Leeds man says:

    Well, as long as no-one thinks this is what the Butterfly Nebula would actually look like to the naked eye, yeah, it’s pretty.

  35. 35
    chrome agnomen says:

    ciclops has great images from the cassini probe out to saturn.

  36. 36
    cay says:

    leeds man: who cares if it’s naked eye (visible light) or infrared? the helix nebula is awesome in whatever wavelength!


  37. 37
    growingdaisies says:


    We get a lot of e-mails from religious people thanking us profusely for the pictures and talking, often eloquently, about the wonder and awe they feel looking at them. So I can’t speak for the major religions, but many of the individuals in ’em seem to feel the way Sagan wished they would feel.

  38. 38
    S. cerevisiae says:

    growingdaisies, as an amateur astronomer I am green with envy that you get to work with the most amazing scientific instrument ever made. I watched Atlantis lift off on the last service mission in May and I was SO grateful that the service mission went so well (after wondering if it was even going to happen at all).

    Stunning photos and great science – keep up the good work.

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