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There are 248 free desktop wallpapers available below, sorted by the number of downloads in the last two weeks.

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High-resolution desktop wallpaper Lassen Volcanic by Youen California
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Lassen Volcanic

April 1st, 2014

I love the blue of the water.

Lake Helen. Lassen National Forest. California.

Adobe Lightroom 5.3.

Nikon D800E, Samyang 14mm F2.8 IF ED MC Aspherical.

Photo Settings: 14mm, f/9, 1/125 second, ISO 110.

Map: 40.4667, -121.5103

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Höllental by Andi Kulse
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Höllental

April 26th, 2016

This was taken after a hiking tour through the Höllentalklamm.

"Valley of Hell", as it is known in English, leads up the Zugspitze on the German side of the German-Austrian border in the northern Alps.

Adobe Lightroom CC.

Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF).

Photo Settings: 17mm, f/9, 1/200 second, ISO 200.

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Sunrise at Jinshanling Great Wall by bingham009
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Sunrise at Jinshanling Great Wall

April 4th, 2016

View of Great Wall at Jinshanling, in the early morning.

Adobe Photoshop CC.

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Nanpu Bridge Shanghai by bingham009
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Nanpu Bridge Shanghai

April 8th, 2016

Nanpu Bridge is the first bridge to cross the Huangpu River from central Shanghai, linking it with the Pudong district across the river.

Adobe Photoshop CC.

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Out of this Whirl by NASA Images
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Out of this Whirl

March 14th, 2016

The graceful, winding arms of the majestic spiral galaxy M51 (NGC 5194) appear like a grand spiral staircase sweeping through space. They are actually long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust.

This sharpest-ever image of the Whirlpool Galaxy, taken in January 2005 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, illustrates a spiral galaxy's grand design, from its curving spiral arms, where young stars reside, to its yellowish central core, a home of older stars. The galaxy is nicknamed the Whirlpool because of its swirling structure.

The Whirlpool's most striking feature is its two curving arms, a hallmark of so-called grand-design spiral galaxies. Many spiral galaxies possess numerous, loosely shaped arms which make their spiral structure less pronounced. These arms serve an important purpose in spiral galaxies. They are star-formation factories, compressing hydrogen gas and creating clusters of new stars. In the Whirlpool, the assembly line begins with the dark clouds of gas on the inner edge, then moves to bright pink star-forming regions, and ends with the brilliant blue star clusters along the outer edge.

Some astronomers believe that the Whirlpool's arms are so prominent because of the effects of a close encounter with NGC 5195, the small, yellowish galaxy at the outermost tip of one of the Whirlpool's arms. At first glance, the compact galaxy appears to be tugging on the arm. Hubble's clear view, however, shows that NGC 5195 is passing behind the Whirlpool. The small galaxy has been gliding past the Whirlpool for hundreds of millions of years.

As NGC 5195 drifts by, its gravitational muscle pumps up waves within the Whirlpool's pancake-shaped disk. The waves are like ripples in a pond generated when a rock is thrown in the water. When the waves pass through orbiting gas clouds within the disk, they squeeze the gaseous material along each arm's inner edge. The dark dusty material looks like gathering storm clouds. These dense clouds collapse, creating a wake of star birth, as seen in the bright pink star-forming regions. The largest stars eventually sweep away the dusty cocoons with a torrent of radiation, hurricane-like stellar winds, and shock waves from supernova blasts. Bright blue star clusters emerge from the mayhem, illuminating the Whirlpool's arms like city streetlights.

The Whirlpool is one of astronomy's galactic darlings. Located 31 million light-years away in the constellation Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs), the Whirlpool's beautiful face-on view and closeness to Earth allow astronomers to study a classic spiral galaxy's structure and star-forming processes.

Object Names: Whirlpool Galaxy, M51, NGC 5194/5

Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Sandy Cay by Ben Gustafson
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Sandy Cay

January 22nd, 2014

Taken during my secluded walk around Sandy Cay Island, British Virgin Islands.

Adobe Lightroom 4, Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM.

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Sunset on Blue Mountain by jdphotopdx
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Sunset on Blue Mountain

March 4th, 2016

Taken near the summit of Blue Mountain, in Olympic National Park.

Lightroom CC

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM.

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Morraine Lake by natekroek
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Morraine Lake

May 22nd, 2014

Morraine Lake, AB, Canada is the starting point of the Larch Valley hike. Hoping for better weather, a friend and I set out for a light day in the mountains. The clouds happened to offer a nice light for this shot.

Shot from a very common spot to photograph. I believe this to be a very different mood and angle than the norm, though.

Editing with HDRSoft Photomatix and Adobe Lightroom.

Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM.

Photo Settings: 10mm, f/16, 1/30 second, ISO 200.

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Jet in Carina by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team
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Jet in Carina

February 6th, 2016

A 3-light-year-long pillar, bathed in the glow of light from hot, massive stars to the top of the image. Scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from these stars are sculpting the pillar and causing new stars to form within it. Streamers of gas and dust can be seen flowing off the top of the structure.

Nestled inside this dense structure are fledgling stars. They cannot be seen in this image because they are hidden by a wall of gas and dust. Although the stars themselves are invisible, one of them is providing evidence of its existence. Thin puffs of material can be seen traveling to the left and to the right of a dark notch in the center of the pillar. The matter is part of a jet produced by a young star. Farther away, on the left, the jet is visible as a grouping of small, wispy clouds. A few small clouds are visible at a similar distance on the right side of the jet. Astronomers estimate that the jet is moving at speeds of up to 850,000 miles an hour. The jet's total length is about 10 light-years.

Composed of gas and dust, the pillar resides in a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Clear Skies with a Chance of Proton bombardment by alfrfrey
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Clear Skies with a Chance of Proton bombardment

February 9th, 2016

The aurora forecast was low last night, but I took my chances and went out anyway - I was pleasantly surprised!

Taken in Longyearbyen - Svalbard, Norway.

Nikon D610.

Photo Settings: 20mm, f/1, 15 seconds, ISO 1250.

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