These Dark Sky Photos Are Truly Stars

View the winning submissions in the International Dark Sky Association's "Capture the Dark" photography contest.

Chris Olivas

COMET NEOWISE? We're keeping our eye out, our telescope trained, our camera at the ready, and our imagination wide open. And even if we don't see this cosmic visitor during its all-too-brief stop-by, we can admire the many marvelous images appearing on our feeds, the pictures captured from pretty peaks, as well as those places without any artificial lights. Nighttime photography flowers when the power is turned down, and only the moon, stars, the occasional comet, and the fireflies shine (and, yes, any moonlight reflected on lakes, streams, and such). The International Dark Sky Association is actively trying to hold onto the night, or at least the night as it was understood and appreciated for centuries, before brighter times dimmed the stars above. And to celebrate what shutterbugs see, the organization holds an annual...

PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST: The winners of "Capture the Dark" were recently announced, and you can see, and admire, their velvety-domed, twinkle-twinkle takes on our after-sundown world. Over 450 submissions were received, from spots around the planet, and the result? A line-up of stunning photos from Australia, Bolivia, and, yes, that lunar-like land that happens to be located right here in California, Death Valley National Park. Take a mind break for a moment, and indulge your love for the Milky Way, for the planets of our solar system, and for the magic that comes when we turn our camera above our heads when the moon is full, new, or in any other fabulous phase.

NEED INSPIRATION... for entering next year? Find it here. Then get outside and try to connect with Comet Neowise, or any of the other glittery gifts of the heavens after dark.

Pictured: "Milky Way Reflections in Death Valley," Death Valley International Dark Sky Park, California, U.S. Photo credit: Chris Olivas

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