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Amazing images from around the world show the treasure chest of astronomical wonders that can be seen with the naked eye

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The night sky is a treasure chest of astronomical wonders, many of which can be seen with the naked eye.

It’s a point underscored in stunning style by new book Night Sky – Stargazing With The Naked Eye, which contains 200 or so awe-inspiring pictures of planets, stars, constellations and faraway galaxies, none of which have been taken with the aid of a telescope (bar one shot of a nebula on page 10, we’ve been told).

The book actually serves up a double whammy of photographic heaven, because the images also frame some stunning landscapes on earth that lie beneath the glittering cosmos.

The dazzling delights in the tome include a photograph of a jaw-dropping rising supermoon over Glastonbury, the beautiful Milky Way captured across Lake Louise in Canada and the amazing Magellanic Clouds pictured over salt flats in Bolivia. ADVERTISING

Author Robert Harvey writes: ‘More than half the world’s human population lives in cities. Apart from the Moon and a few bright stars, it is likely that most people rarely see the night sky. For city-dwellers, to travel away from the glare of fluorescent lights to somewhere that the sky is truly dark is a revelation. 

‘Until the invention of electric light at the end of the 19th century, the night sky was universally accessible. In just over a century, most of the population has lost a view that for thousands of years, humans took for granted. This book depicts the glory of the night sky from every inhabited continent. All the astronomical objects illustrated can be seen with the unaided eye. These views are available to everyone. They are part of the common heritage of humankind.’ Scroll down to see a selection of the mesmerising images that feature in the book, with captions courtesy of the author…

Supermoon rising over Glastonbury Tor, Somerset, England 

A 'supermoon' occurs when a Full Moon coincides with the Moon's closest approach to Earth in its orbit (perigee). The Moon then appears about 10 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than when it occurs at its furthest point from Earth (apogee). The Full Moon of November 16, 2016, was the closest to Earth for 68 years and will not be surpassed until 2034. Viewed from a distance of more than 2km (1.2 miles), the Full Moon appeared as big as St Michael's Tower in Glastonbury

A ‘supermoon’ occurs when a Full Moon coincides with the Moon’s closest approach to Earth in its orbit (perigee). The Moon then appears about 10 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than when it occurs at its furthest point from Earth (apogee). The Full Moon of November 16, 2016, was the closest to Earth for 68 years and will not be surpassed until 2034. Viewed from a distance of more than 2km (1.2 miles), the Full Moon appeared as big as St Michael’s Tower in Glastonbury

Fairy chimneys at night with stars in the sky, Cappadocia, Turkey 

The fairy chimneys of Cappadocia are natural spires of rock created by weathering in a semi-arid basin. They are formed as a result of softer rock overlain by harder rock, which protects each column from erosion. Many of Cappadocia’s chimneys have been excavated and used as dwellings. In this image taken by moonlight, the constellation of Taurus can be seen above the tallest fairy chimney

The fairy chimneys of Cappadocia are natural spires of rock created by weathering in a semi-arid basin. They are formed as a result of softer rock overlain by harder rock, which protects each column from erosion. Many of Cappadocia’s chimneys have been excavated and used as dwellings. In this image taken by moonlight, the constellation of Taurus can be seen above the tallest fairy chimney

Milky Way over Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada 

Lake Louise is one of the best known and most beautiful locations in the Canadian Rockies. It receives a great many visitors in August, but around midnight on a moonless night, the lakeshore is deserted. Looking south-west, the bright core of our Milky Way galaxy directly over Victoria Glacier makes a stunning sight

Lake Louise is one of the best known and most beautiful locations in the Canadian Rockies. It receives a great many visitors in August, but around midnight on a moonless night, the lakeshore is deserted. Looking south-west, the bright core of our Milky Way galaxy directly over Victoria Glacier makes a stunning sight

Aurora Borealis over Sommarøy Bridge, Norway 

Sommarøy Bridge connects the islands of Kvaløya and Sommarøy in Tromsø Municipality, north of the Arctic Circle. Sweeping across the northern sky, this aurora is bright enough to be seen against a backdrop of city lights

Sommarøy Bridge connects the islands of Kvaløya and Sommarøy in Tromsø Municipality, north of the Arctic Circle. Sweeping across the northern sky, this aurora is bright enough to be seen against a backdrop of city lights

Aurora Borealis, Greenland 

Reflected in an icy sea, this aurora appears like the wavy hem of a curtain descending from space. The distinct shape results from charged particles in the solar wind being aligned by Earth’s magnetic field as they are funnelled towards the north magnetic pole, whilst the colour comes from interaction with oxygen atoms in the Earth’s outer atmosphere

Reflected in an icy sea, this aurora appears like the wavy hem of a curtain descending from space. The distinct shape results from charged particles in the solar wind being aligned by Earth’s magnetic field as they are funnelled towards the north magnetic pole, whilst the colour comes from interaction with oxygen atoms in the Earth’s outer atmosphere

Night Sky above Wellington, New Zealand 

The bright city lights of Wellington are shrouded in fog on a chilly May evening, allowing the stars and faint band of the Milky Way to be seen from Wrights Hill overlooking the city

The bright city lights of Wellington are shrouded in fog on a chilly May evening, allowing the stars and faint band of the Milky Way to be seen from Wrights Hill overlooking the city

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Milky Way, Cable Bay, New Zealand 

Located near Nelson on New Zealand’s South Island, Cable Bay forms a perfectly balanced foreground to this view of the Milky Way. The galactic core is high in the night sky, with its light reflecting in the bay below just before moonrise

Located near Nelson on New Zealand’s South Island, Cable Bay forms a perfectly balanced foreground to this view of the Milky Way. The galactic core is high in the night sky, with its light reflecting in the bay below just before moonrise

Milky Way over Erg Chebbi, Morocco 

Viewed from high on a sand dune the core of the Milky Way rises in the early hours of a late winter morning. The nearest towns are Erfoud and Rissani, some 50km (32 miles) away, whose lights are illuminating the sky on the right of this image

Viewed from high on a sand dune the core of the Milky Way rises in the early hours of a late winter morning. The nearest towns are Erfoud and Rissani, some 50km (32 miles) away, whose lights are illuminating the sky on the right of this image

A starry night over Chimborazo, Ecuador 

Located just one degree south of the Equator, the dormant volcano of Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador, with a summit elevation of 6,263m (20,548ft). Thanks to Earth's equatorial bulge, Chimborazo is the world's highest mountain measured from the centre of the Earth (Mount Everest is higher measured from sea level). Climbing to the top of Chimborazo takes you as close to the stars as you can get without leaving Earth

Located just one degree south of the Equator, the dormant volcano of Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador, with a summit elevation of 6,263m (20,548ft). Thanks to Earth’s equatorial bulge, Chimborazo is the world’s highest mountain measured from the centre of the Earth (Mount Everest is higher measured from sea level). Climbing to the top of Chimborazo takes you as close to the stars as you can get without leaving Earth

The Milky Way, Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada 

Looking due south, a moonless night at the end of July shows the full glory of our galaxy over sandstone formations in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. Located in southern Alberta, this park contains the greatest concentration of rock art on the North American Great Plains, with over 50 petroglyph sites and thousands of artworks

Looking due south, a moonless night at the end of July shows the full glory of our galaxy over sandstone formations in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. Located in southern Alberta, this park contains the greatest concentration of rock art on the North American Great Plains, with over 50 petroglyph sites and thousands of artworks

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Venus, Mars and Jupiter in conjunction, Isle of Portland, England (left) – and the Milky Way over Iguazu Falls, Argentina (right)

Venus is the brightest of the three planets in this image, seen just above the horizon. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system but it is around 15 times further away than Venus, so appears about one-fifth as bright. Mars is the dimmest of the three because at the time of the conjunction it was near its furthest point from Earth in its orbit
The Iguazu Falls, on the border of Argentina and Brazil, are the largest and arguably the most beautiful waterfall system in the world. Higher than Niagra and with a greater volume than Victoria, the falls are situated in lush subtropical rain forest with little light pollution to obscure the Milky Way

Venus is the brightest of the three planets in this image, left, seen just above the horizon. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system but it is around 15 times further away than Venus, so appears about one-fifth as bright. Mars is the dimmest of the three because at the time of the conjunction it was near its furthest point from Earth in its orbit. Pictured right is Iguazu Falls, on the border of Argentina and Brazil, which is the largest and arguably the most beautiful waterfall system in the world. Higher than Niagra and with a greater volume than Victoria, the falls are situated in lush subtropical rain forest with little light pollution to obscure the Milky Way

The Milky Way over the Atacama Desert, Chile 

The complete arch of the Milky Way frames a remote desert road near San Pedro de Atacama in Chile's Antofagasta Region. At an elevation of 2,100m (6,890ft) and with just 38mm (1.5in) of rain a year, there is little cloud cover or atmospheric turbulence to obscure the night sky

The complete arch of the Milky Way frames a remote desert road near San Pedro de Atacama in Chile’s Antofagasta Region. At an elevation of 2,100m (6,890ft) and with just 38mm (1.5in) of rain a year, there is little cloud cover or atmospheric turbulence to obscure the night sky

Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds over Uyuni salt flats, Bolivia 

Uyuni salt flats are so exceptionally smooth that rain transforms them into a vast mirror. Above the salt flats is the Milky Way and two independent galaxies – the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds

Uyuni salt flats are so exceptionally smooth that rain transforms them into a vast mirror. Above the salt flats is the Milky Way and two independent galaxies – the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds

Milky Way over Sibillini Mountains National Park, Le Marche, Italy 

An atmospheric inversion layer at night can cause fog to form at lower elevations, with clear skies above. This creates excellent viewing conditions for the Milky Way, since fog screens light pollution from the valleys

An atmospheric inversion layer at night can cause fog to form at lower elevations, with clear skies above. This creates excellent viewing conditions for the Milky Way, since fog screens light pollution from the valleys

Braies Lake, South Tyrol, Italy 

Braies Lake is the largest natural lake in the Dolomites, and is known for its natural beauty and spectacular setting. At an elevation of 1,496m (4,910ft), Braise is turquoise in summer and frozen in winter. This image was taken at the very end of winter looking south-east, as the core of the Milky Way starts to rise between the mountains overlooking Braies Lake

Braies Lake is the largest natural lake in the Dolomites, and is known for its natural beauty and spectacular setting. At an elevation of 1,496m (4,910ft), Braise is turquoise in summer and frozen in winter. This image was taken at the very end of winter looking south-east, as the core of the Milky Way starts to rise between the mountains overlooking Braies Lake

Milky Way above the mountains, Norway 

The Milky Way is the galaxy in which we live. It is a flattened spiral disk, with our solar system in one of the outer arms. When we look along the plane of that disk, we see a faint band of light made up of millions of stars that are too distant to make out individually. Seeing the Milky Way requires a dark sky away from light pollution and a moonless night

The Milky Way is the galaxy in which we live. It is a flattened spiral disk, with our solar system in one of the outer arms. When we look along the plane of that disk, we see a faint band of light made up of millions of stars that are too distant to make out individually. Seeing the Milky Way requires a dark sky away from light pollution and a moonless night 

Milky Way over the Tatra Mountains, Poland 

In spring, the bright core of the Milky Way rises just before dawn. In this spectacular panorama, made high in the rugged Tatra Mountains, we see the whole arc of the Milky Way stretching across the eastern sky. On the right-hand side, we are looking towards the galactic centre, whereas the left-hand side shows the fainter outer reaches of our galaxy

In spring, the bright core of the Milky Way rises just before dawn. In this spectacular panorama, made high in the rugged Tatra Mountains, we see the whole arc of the Milky Way stretching across the eastern sky. On the right-hand side, we are looking towards the galactic centre, whereas the left-hand side shows the fainter outer reaches of our galaxy

Milky Way, Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA 

Joshua trees are a species of tree-like yucca that is indigenous to the Mojave Desert. They make iconic foregrounds in this photograph of the Milky Way rising soon before dawn in spring. The core of the Milky Way lies in the southern constellation of Sagittarius

Joshua trees are a species of tree-like yucca that is indigenous to the Mojave Desert. They make iconic foregrounds in this photograph of the Milky Way rising soon before dawn in spring. The core of the Milky Way lies in the southern constellation of Sagittarius

Night sky over Gunung Bromo, Java, Indonesia 

Mount Bromo is an active volcano in Java’s Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Indonesia has around 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country in the world, located around the Pacific Ring of Fire. When not erupting, Mount Bromo is a popular tourist destination

Mount Bromo is an active volcano in Java’s Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Indonesia has around 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country in the world, located around the Pacific Ring of Fire. When not erupting, Mount Bromo is a popular tourist destination

All images are taken from the book Night Sky by Robert Harvey (ISBN 978-1-78274-918-9), published by Amber Books and available now from bookshops and online booksellers (RRP £19.99)

All images are taken from the book Night Sky by Robert Harvey (ISBN 978-1-78274-918-9), published by Amber Books and available now from bookshops and online booksellers (RRP £19.99)

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