13 Unreal Photos Of Stars And Galaxies You Need To See

You'll be wonder-struck.

When then-International Space Station resident and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted a surreal photo of an aurora down on Earth, he said he struggled with its caption.

1. "Words can't describe how it feels flying through an #aurora," he wrote. "I wouldn't even know where to begin..."

At the time of the tweet, Gerst had been living and working aboard the station for months. A little bit of familiarity can dull appreciation for almost anything, but he was still wonder-struck by the incredible visuals.

There's something about each of the following photos that similarly defies description. They're full of interstellar majesty that tugs at our hunter-gatherer heartstrings, making us want to build big things and explore great expanses. (And maybe just stop and stare a while in awe.)


2. The Eagle Nebula's "pillars of creation"

2. Plasma spurts from the sun

3. A brightly burning nebula near star cluster NGC 2074

4. The Great Lakes (and the cities surrounding them) peek up at the ISS

5. Fast winds mold the shape of the Carina Nebula

6. The Eagle Nebula's "fairy" dust cloud

7. The sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico

8. A microcosm of star life cycles in NGC 2603

9. Mystic Mountain looms tall from inside the Milky Way

10. A starburst galaxy forms new stars at breakneck speed

11. The sun, during a mid-level solar flare

12. Pandora's Cluster shines

13. The dying star of the Butterfly Nebula as it travels through space