Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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Astronomy & Natural Wonders

Tributes to the beauty of the universe ...

Click any picture to navigate to the page of interest for more information about this tartan or its associated day.

Full Moons

Designed by Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan was inspired by two full moons in 2009.

Jan 10
Lunar "Wolf Moon" Eclipse (2020)

Norwegian Night

This tartan was inspired by the Aurora Borealis in the night sky, frequently seen in Norway. The colours used are: red, blue and white from the Norwegian flag; yellow, white and black are for the Aurora Borealis in the night sky (polar light). ​

Jan 15
Winter Auroras

Aurora

This tartan, by designer Carol A.L. Martin, exhibits the beautiful diverse hues of the northern lights.

Mar 23
Spring Aurora Watch

Exploration of Titan

The colours in this tartan specifically represent the organic compounds and chemical processes studied on Saturn's moon Titan.

Mar 25
Titan Discovery Day

Distant Galaxy

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, was inspired by the images seen through the Hubble telescope.

Apr 24
the Hubble Telescope Launch (1990)

Infra-Red

This tartan, by designer Carol A.L. Martin, was designed to illustrate the long wavelengths beyond visible light such as thermal radiation.

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

New Star

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, references the colours of the birthplace of new stars, huge, cold clouds of gas and dust, known as 'nebulas'.

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

Star Trails

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, illustrates the long-exposure photography of stars as they appear to move across the sky, leaving colourful trails.

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

Sunspots

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, explores the variation of colours exhibited by the active sun.

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

Milky Way

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, represents a view of the Milky Way with the light bands showing the concentration of stars located in the direction of the galactic plane along with the dark regions in the Zone of Avoidance where the light is blocked by interstellar dust. The red lines represent the cosmological red shift, due to the expansion of the universe.

May 10
Milky Way Viewing Season

Umbra

Designed by Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan uses amongst shades of black, white, and gray, a special color called "eclipse"!

May 26
Lunar Eclipse (2021)

Lunar

This tartan's colours emphasize the black, brown and grey from the lunar rock brought back to earth by the Apollo missions and the red for the rocket flame.

Jul 20
Moon Landing

Moon and Airless Bodies

This tartan was designed to celebrate robotic and human science, exploration and outreach activities associated with the Moon or other airless bodies including asteroids, comets, Kuiper Belt Objects or other objects.

Jul 20
Moon Day

NASA Apollo 11 Moon Landing and Moon Walk

This tartan's colours emphasize the black, brown and grey from the lunar rock brought back to earth by the Apollo missions and the red for the rocket flame.

Jul 20
Apollo 11 Moon Walk Day

Comet

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartans uses colours that represent a comet as it reaches perihelion in the night sky.

Jul 28
Comet Day (2061)

Twinkle

This tartan, by Carol A.L. Martin, represents a twinkling star in a dark night sky.

Aug 11
The Dog Days of Summer & Perseids

Dark Island (Black Moon)

The blackest of black tartans! Find out how the tartan pattern is created with a single colour!

Aug 30
Black Moon (2019)

Flare

This fiery tartan by designer Carol A.L. Martin, replicates the hot colors of the sun against the black of empty space.

Sep 2
The Carrington Event of 1859

Astrobiology

The tartan colours were chosen specifically for the field of Astrobiology, the branch of biology concerned with the study of life on earth and in space.

Sep 26
Astronomy Day (Fall)

Sundog

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, is representative of the little colourful spots on either side of the sun on cold days in winter.

Sep 26
Astronomy Day (Fall)

Aurora Borealis

This tartan, by designer Carol A.L. Martin, exhibits the beautiful diverse hues of the northern lights.

Sep 30
Fall Aurora Watch

Harvest Moon

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan was inspired by the colours of a bright Harvest Moon in the autumn night.

Oct 1
Harvest Moon

Willy Wonka

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan was inspired by the colours of a bright Harvest Moon in the autumn night.

Oct 1
Willy Wonka Day

Sol

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan reflects the muted yellows in autumn when the sun is low in the sky.

Oct 15
Indian Summer

Green Flash

Tartan design by Carol A.L. Martin

Oct 25
Ghosts & Phantoms Night

Blue Moon

This tartan was inspired by the shadows cast on the snow by the full moon.

Oct 31
Blue Moon (2020)

Planetary Transit

Designed by Arpin Pierre for the last transit of Venus which occurred in June 2012.

Nov 11
Planetary Transit of Mercury (2019)

Orion Nebula

The colours in this tartan represent the beautiful spectrum of light emitted from the Orion nebula, one of the most beautiful astronomical objects easily visible in the night sky.

Nov 26
Orion Nebula Day

Black Hole

Designed by Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan is designed to reflect the fundamentals of our universe - galaxies, black holes and quasars.

Nov 27
Black Hole Friday

Mars Exploration

The colours of this tartan include a red background depicting the surface of Mars; blue depicts the water-rich past of Mars and the presence of water, mainly as ice, on the planet today; the four green lines represent Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun.

Nov 28
Red Planet Day

Solar Eclipse

The solar eclipse tartan, by designer Carol A.L. Martin, was inspired by the partial solar eclipse of Jan. 4th, 2011, seen across Europe.

Dec 14
The Next Great Solar Eclipse (2020)

Dark Sky

This tartan was designed by Dale Stevenson for the Dark Sky Observatory in Dalmellington using colours that reflect the night sky.

Dec 21
The Winter Solstice

Moon Shadows

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan was inspired by the shadows of a full moon on a winter's night.

Dec 29
Full Moon (Cold Moon)

A Penumbral Eclipse

The moon, framed by ashes from the Mount Sinabung volcano, penumbral eclipse from Karo in North Sumatra province on August 8, 2017

Jan 10
Lunar "Wolf Moon" Eclipse (2020)

Aurora Borealis

Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind, which carries charged particles mainly in the form of electrons and protons, and precipitates them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere), where their energy is lost.

Jan 15
Winter Auroras

Aurora on the Isle of Lewis

The aurora is caused by the interaction of solar wind - a stream of charged particles escaping the sun - and Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere.

Mar 23
Spring Aurora Watch

Titan's phases

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. It is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object in space, other than Earth, where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found.

Mar 25
Titan Discovery Day

Hubble Image

A giant cluster of about 3000 stars called Westerlund 2. The cluster resides in a raucous stellar breeding ground known as Gum 29, located 20 000 light-years away in the constellation Carina - photo: NASA

Apr 24
the Hubble Telescope Launch (1990)

Infra Red Photography

Long wavelengths, such as infra-red or radio waves can make it through the Earth's atmosphere without significant obstacles. In fact, radio telescopes can observe even on cloudy days.

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

Serpens Cloud Core

According to our best available estimates, stars having about 90 percent of the sun's mass are just now starting to die in the globulars. These stars are most probably around 15 billion years old, but they could conceivably be as young as 12 billion years or as old as 18 billion years.

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

Star trails

Photography by Lincoln Harrison - There are two methods popular with star photographers – using one very long exposure (long enough to register some noticeable star movement; at least 30 minutes) OR taking many shorter exposures and stacking those images in a way that shows sequential movement.

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

Sunspots

Sunspots tend to appear in cycles of 11 years.  Sunspots sometimes erupt into powerful solar storms that shoot streams of charged particles into space, occasionally in the direction of Earth. Some powerful solar storms can bombard Earth's magnetic field and disrupt power grids or knock out satellites in orbit around the planet. ​

May 2
Astronomy Day (Spring)

The Milky Way

In western culture, the name "Milky Way" for our view of our own galaxy is derived from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky. The term is a translation of the Classical Latin via lactea, in turn derived from the Hellenistic Greek for "milky circle". In Greek mythology, the Milky Way was supposedly made from the forceful suckling of Heracles, when Hera acted as a wet nurse for the hero.

May 10
Milky Way Viewing Season

The Earth's Umbra

This composite image uses successive pictures recorded during the eclipse from Athens, Greece to trace out a large part of the umbra's curved edge.

May 26
Lunar Eclipse (2021)

Lunar Walk

Panorama created from photos taken on the fourth crewed Moon mission, Apollo 15, which landed in August of 1971

Jul 20
Moon Landing

Craters on the Moon

Many features of the moon are named after famous individuals. Amongst others, several craters of the moon are named after Scottish scientists, including John Napier, and James Clerk Maxwell.

Jul 20
Moon Day

Moon Landing, July 21, 1969

Astronaut Neil Armstrong on the moon's surface

Jul 20
Apollo 11 Moon Walk Day

Comet Hale-Bopp, 1997

As a comet gets closer to the Sun, some of these frozen gases sublimate creating the coma – the envelope of atmosphere that surrounds a comet. These gases can reflect sunlight and turn our dark object into a bright, yellow-white body. One of the two tails a comet produces, the ion tail – a collection of charged particles pushed away by the solar wind – will begin to glow with a blue tint.

Jul 28
Comet Day (2061)

Perseids Meteor - Milky Way

The Dog Days of summer, generally reckoned to begin July 3rd and ending August 11th, coinciding with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major.

Aug 11
The Dog Days of Summer & Perseids

Almost a New Moon

The term black moon refers to an additional new moon that appears in a month or in a season. It may also refer to the absence of a full moon or of a new moon in a month.

Aug 30
Black Moon (2019)

Solar Flare

Massive solar flares are sometimes accompanied by coronal mass ejections which can trigger geomagnetic storms that have been known to disable satellites and knock out terrestrial electric power grids for extended periods of time.

Sep 2
The Carrington Event of 1859

Earth-bound and Extra-Terrestrial Life

Astrobiology is a branch of biology concerned with the origins, early evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. Astrobiology considers the question of whether extraterrestrial life exists, and how humans can detect it if it does.

Sep 26
Astronomy Day (Fall)

Sundog in the Grand Tetons

A sun dog (or sundog) or mock sun, formally called a parhelion (plural parhelia) in meteorology, is an atmospheric optical phenomenon that consists of a bright spot to the left or right of the Sun. Two sun dogs often flank the Sun within a 22° halo.

Sep 26
Astronomy Day (Fall)

Aurora on the Isle of Lewis

The aurora is caused by the interaction of solar wind - a stream of charged particles escaping the sun - and Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere.

Sep 30
Fall Aurora Watch

Wheat in the Night

Harvest Moons often appear larger and more colourful than other moons of the year, aided by the tilt of the earth and reflections from the atmosphere.

Oct 1
Harvest Moon

Harvest Moons often appear larger and more colourful than other moons of the year, aided by the tilt of the earth and reflections from the atmosphere.

Oct 1
Willy Wonka Day

Indian Summer Hudson River

“Indian summer” is a phrase most North Americans use to describe an unseasonably warm and sunny patch of weather during autumn.

Oct 15
Indian Summer

Green Flash

Green flashes and green rays are rare optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, usually observed from a low altitude where there is an unobstructed view of the horizon, such as on the ocean.

Oct 25
Ghosts & Phantoms Night