A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY

2016 looked magical from space

A Russian Soyuz 2.1A rocket lifts off from the launch pad at the new Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Uglegorsk, Russia on April 28, 2016.
A Russian Soyuz 2.1A rocket lifts off from the launch pad at the new Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Uglegorsk, Russia on April 28, 2016.
Image: Reuters/Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool
By
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

If 2016 on earth felt too chaotic, perhaps it would have been better exploring the outer reaches of our galaxy. Here are some of the greatest shots from space that were taken or released in 2016. They capture everything from distant nebulas to peaceful images of our own planet.

A view of the Crab Nebula.
A view of the Crab Nebula.
Image: ESA/Hubble Space Telescope/NASA
The spiral galaxy NGC 4845, located over 65 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo.
The spiral galaxy NGC 4845, located over 65 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo.
Image: Reuters/NASA/Handout
The bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa on the dwarf planet Pluto is seen in an image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.
The bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa on the dwarf planet Pluto is seen in an image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.
Image: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Handout/Reuters
The remnants of a long-dead star located some 160 000 light-years away within one of the Milky Way’s closest galactic neighbors — the Large Magellanic Cloud.
The remnants of a long-dead star located some 160 000 light-years away within one of the Milky Way’s closest galactic neighbors — the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Image: ESA/Hubble Space Telescope/NASA
This 10.5-billion-year-old globular cluster, NGC 6496.
This 10.5-billion-year-old globular cluster, NGC 6496.
Image: ESA/Hubble Space Telescope/NASA
A time-lapse photo that showcases both a launch and return of a SpaceX rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida on July 18, 2016.
A time-lapse photo that showcases both a launch and return of a SpaceX rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida on July 18, 2016.
Image: SpaceX/Flickr
A view of a winter storm affecting the US East Coast as seen from the International Space Station on Jan. 23, 2016.
A view of a winter storm affecting the US East Coast as seen from the International Space Station on Jan. 23, 2016.
Image: Reuters/NASA/Handout
An image taken by the Mars Curiosity rover shows an outcrop with finely layered rocks within the “Murray Buttes” region on lower Mount Sharp on Mars.
An image taken by the Mars Curiosity rover shows an outcrop with finely layered rocks within the “Murray Buttes” region on lower Mount Sharp on Mars.
Image: NASA/JPL-CALTECH/MSSS
Pluto’’s largest moon, Charon, is seen in a high-resolution photo captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on July 14, 2015 and released Sept. 15, 2016.
Pluto’’s largest moon, Charon, is seen in a high-resolution photo captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on July 14, 2015 and released Sept. 15, 2016.
Image: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Handout via Reuters
The Bubble Nebula was captured in February, 2016, by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 and released April 21, 2016. The nebula is seven light-years across about one-and-a-half times the distance from our sun to its nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri.
The Bubble Nebula was captured in February, 2016, by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 and released April 21, 2016. The nebula is seven light-years across about one-and-a-half times the distance from our sun to its nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri.
Image: REUTERS/NASA/ESA/Hubble Team/Handout via Reuters
A photo taken by European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station shows an Aurora over northern Canada, taken from a point just north of Vancouver, January 20, 2016. The Canadian Rockies, Banff and Jasper national parks are visible in the foreground. The Bright lights of Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary (left of center) are also visible.
A photo taken by European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station shows an Aurora over northern Canada, taken from a point just north of Vancouver, January 20, 2016. The Canadian Rockies, Banff and Jasper national parks are visible in the foreground. The Bright lights of Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary (left of center) are also visible.
Image: Reuters/ESA/Tim Peake/Handout
The robotic arm in Japan’s Kibo laboratory successfully deploys two combined satellites from Texas universities from the International Space Station on Jan. 29, 2016.
The robotic arm in Japan’s Kibo laboratory successfully deploys two combined satellites from Texas universities from the International Space Station on Jan. 29, 2016.
Image: Reuters/NASA/Tim Peake/Handout