Every year, the Royal Observatory Greenwich, in England, holds a photography contest for the best images of space. They invite astrophotographers from all over the world to submit their best images of astronomical phenomena, from the night sky to distant stars.
The contest has four categories: Earth and Space, Our Solar System, Deep Space and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year. There are also special prizes given out, including People and Space, a prize for best photo taken with a robotic scope, and a prize for the best newcomer. This way, the diverse subject matter can all be honored. We chose 15 of our favorite shots from across the categories, but there are way more where that came from. You can also check out last year's winners as well.
The overall winner was UK-based photographer James Woodend, with his stunning image of the aurora over an icy lagoon.
1.) Overall Winner/Earth and Space Winner
2.) Earth and Space Runner-Up
3.) Earth and Space Highly Commended
4.) Earth and Space Highly Commended
5.) Earth and Space Highly Commended
6.) Deep Space Winner
7.) Deep Space Runner Up
8.) Deep Space Highly Commended
9.) Our Solar System Winner
10.) Our Solar System Highly Commended
11.) People and Space Winner
12.) People and Space Runner Up
13.) Robotic Scope Winner
14.) The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer Winner
15.) Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year Winner
These photos are just a reminder of how small we are. They also show us just how beautiful the Universe is. We may be a small part of its beauty, but we're still part of it.