Light pollution may make it difficult to appreciate the night sky, but away from the streetlights and neon signs of the cities, the heavenly bodies above are clearly visible. Constellations, far-off planets and galaxies fill the atmosphere, offering awe-inspiring, beautiful scenes.
Up above the world so high, these objects—light-years away and eons old—remind us to appreciate nature whenever possible. There’s no time like the present, so take a look.
A nighttime ceremony is performed under a heavenly, star-filled sky.
Chongfeng Wu, China, 2019
Large radio telescopes dot the horizon. Are they listening for extraterrestrial signs of life?
Steve Aicinena, New Mexico, 2015
old wrecked ship makes it easy to take an Instagram-worthy photo under the night sky near Point Reyes National Seashore.
Brian Cho, California, 2019
The sun meets the horizon, filling the sky with soft violet, orange and pink hues.
Daniel Brogdon, Texas, 2017
These are not snow-capped mountains beneath the stars. It’s white sand cascading over the peaks of the Pamirs.
Hu Qing, China, 2019
Baobab trees, known for their wide trunks that support truncated branches, are native to Madagascar and Australia. Here, they stand sentinel under a cloud-strewn sky.
Beverly Houwing, Madagascar, 2019
Camels take a load off and look toward the stars during their night’s rest.
Luka Sarac, Morocco, 2018
Stars and fireflies are a blur as they move around a single tree seemingly growing out of stone.
Himadri Bhuyan, India, 2020
Perseids meteor showers seemingly rip through the darkness of the night sky.
Wei Xu, China, 2023
A starry night sky reflects light off the shallow waters of Horseshoe Bend in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Rohit Gandhi, Arizona, 2021
The shadows of eight observers cover the ground as they gaze at the Milky Way from atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Peter Pino, Hawaii, 2019
This eight-image panoramic shot creates a heavenly arch of stars above Iguaçu Falls, one of the largest in the world.
Marcio Esteves Cabral, Brazil, 2021
A man and his horse—a scene that could have been captured centuries ago—stand near Mount Bromo, an active volcano, as they watch the night sky.
Pradeep Raja Kannaiah, Indonesia, 2017
Visitors enjoy the terrain under the stars while visiting Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where more than 150 complete dinosaur fossils have been discovered.
Christy Turner, Canada, 2019