Jaw-dropping amateur space photosBeta PictorisThis photograph — shot by Rolf Olsen of New Zealand — may appear rather unremarkable at first glance, but it's quickly becoming one of the most popular space pictures of the year. The image shows a new solar system named Beta Pictoris in its very first stages of life. Olsen's achievement marks the first time that an amateur astronomer has captured a solar system being born, and it's a feat that even professional stargazers have a difficult time capturing. (Photo Courtesy of Rolf Olsen/Tecca) See more photos at Tecca.comThe California NebulaNamed for its similarity in shape to the outline of California, this nebula is located in the constellation Perseus. Researchers believe it is roughly 1,000 light years away from earth. All of these photos are pretty remarkable, and if you feel like getting in on the action, feel free to take a look at our tips for low-light space photography to help get started. (Photograph courtesy Don McCrady/ Tecca) See more photos at Tecca.comThe Butterfly NebulaThis photo shows the large, butterfly-shaped nebula near the Cygnus constellation. The bright star on the right of the photo is Sadr, the center of Cygnus's Northern Cross. (Photo Courtesy of Don McCrady/Tecca) See more photos at Tecca.comTaurus's M45 Pleiades star clusterThe M45 cluster is a remarkably bright collection of stars located in the constellation Taurus. The stars have carried many nicknames in the past, including "The Seven Sisters." (Photo Courtesy of Zio81/Tecca) See more photos at Tecca.comLunar landscapeThis high-resolution shot of the Moon's surface offers a glimpse at the seemingly limitless number of craters on its surface. The bright spray pattern seen in the lower left is a result of the large Tycho crater that resides just out of the photo. (Photo Courtesy of Zoeff/Tecca) See more photos at Tecca.comSagittarius, nebulas, and star clustersThis photo captures two brightly colored nebulas — M20 (top) and M8 (bottom) — as well as the NGC6659 star cluster and the Sagittarius constellation. (Photo Courtesy of Zio81/Tecca) See more photos at Tecca.comM42 Great Orion NebulaAt a distance of over 1,300 light years away, this celestial body is popular among backyard stargazers due to its brilliantly bright appearance. This photo was shot out of a shed in Burgundy, France. (Photo Courtesy of AstroImages/Tecca) More from Tecca 10 spectacular space images. Tecca's guide to the solar system. Tecca's guide to the wonders of space.You don't need to be employed by NASA to snap some amazing galactic images.