The Royal Observatory Greenwich has unveiled a stunning shortlist of images for its 10th annual Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 competition.
The shortlist has been whittled down from over 4,200 images submitted by photographers in 91 countries, with images including a glorious Milky Way looming over a thunderstorm, star trails sweeping over the extraordinary sacred altars in Inner Mongolia, and a majestic image of deep space framed by the Breiðamerkurjökull, the glacial tongue that extends from the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull.
It's not just photos from our planet either, with photographers capturing breathtaking images from across our solar System, galaxy and the wider universe. These include photos of Jupiter, which is 746 million miles away from Earth when the two planets are at their closest, and over a billion miles away at their most distant; and Nebula NGC 2023, which at four light years in diameter is one of the largest reflection nebulae ever discovered.
Here are some of our favorite images…
The judging panel this year included comedian and keen amateur astronomer Jon Culshaw, editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine Chris Bramley, the Royal Observatory’s Public Astronomer, Dr Marek Kukula, and a host of experts from the worlds of art and astronomy.
The winners of the competition’s nine categories and two special prizes will be announced on October 23 at a special award ceremony at the National Maritime Museum. The overall winner will receive £10,000 (about $13,000), while the winners of all other categories and the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year will receive £1,500 (about $2,000).
You can see the winning images, along with previous winners, at a commemorative exhibition held at the National Maritime Museum, London from October 24. The awards ceremony can be followed live on Twitter at #astrophoto2018.
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Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.