27 otherworldly astronomy photos that will truly blow your mind


Unless Elon Musk has his way in the near future, most of us probably aren’t going to get to go to space. But that doesn’t mean we can’t admire it from afar.

On Sunday, London’s Royal Museums Greenwich unveiled the winners (and the runners up) of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020. The competition has been running for 12 years now, and this year saw over 5,000 entries from six continents.

From the dancing lights of the aurorae to our swirling neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy, and with titles provided by the photographers, here are the top of the crop in their respective categories…

Aurorae

Highly commended: ‘Iceland’ by Kristina Makeeva.

Runner-up: 'Lone Tree under a Scandinavian Aurora' by Tom Archer.

Runner-up: ‘Lone Tree under a Scandinavian Aurora’ by Tom Archer.

Winner: 'The Green Lady' by Nicholas Roemmelt.

Winner: ‘The Green Lady’ by Nicholas Roemmelt.

Best newcomer

Winner: 'Waves' by Bence Toth.

Winner: ‘Waves’ by Bence Toth.

Galaxies

Highly commended: 'Attack on the Large Magellanic Cloud' by Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mateos.

Highly commended: ‘Attack on the Large Magellanic Cloud’ by Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mateos.

Image: Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mateos

Runner-up: 'NGC 3628 with 300,000 Light Year Long Tail' by Mark Hanson.

Runner-up: ‘NGC 3628 with 300,000 Light Year Long Tail’ by Mark Hanson.

Winner and overall winner: 'Andromeda Galaxy at Arms Length' by Nicolas Lefaudeux.

Winner and overall winner: ‘Andromeda Galaxy at Arms Length’ by Nicolas Lefaudeux.

Our moon

Highly commended: 'Moon Base' by Daniel Koszela.

Highly commended: ‘Moon Base’ by Daniel Koszela.

Runner-up: 'HDR Partial Lunar Eclipse With Clouds' by Ethan Roberts.

Runner-up: ‘HDR Partial Lunar Eclipse With Clouds’ by Ethan Roberts.

Winner: 'Tycho Crater Region with Colours' by Alain Paillou.

Winner: ‘Tycho Crater Region with Colours’ by Alain Paillou.

Our sun

Highly commended: 'Ultraviolet' by Alan Friedman.

Highly commended: ‘Ultraviolet’ by Alan Friedman.

Runner-up: '145 Seconds of Darkness' by Filip Ogorzelski.

Runner-up: ‘145 Seconds of Darkness’ by Filip Ogorzelski.

Winner: 'Liquid Sunshine' by Alexandra Hart.

Winner: ‘Liquid Sunshine’ by Alexandra Hart.

People and space

Highly commended: 'AZURE Vapor Tracers' by Yang Sutie.

Highly commended: ‘AZURE Vapor Tracers’ by Yang Sutie.

Runner-up: 'Observe the Heart of the Galaxy' by Tian Li.

Runner-up: ‘Observe the Heart of the Galaxy’ by Tian Li.

Winner: 'The Prison of Technology' by Rafael Schmall.

Winner: ‘The Prison of Technology’ by Rafael Schmall.

Planets, comets, and asteroids

Highly commended: 'The Ghost of Alnilam and a Near Earth Asteroid' by Robert Stephens.

Highly commended: ‘The Ghost of Alnilam and a Near Earth Asteroid’ by Robert Stephens.

Runner-up: 'In the Outer Reaches' by Martin Lewis.

Runner-up: ‘In the Outer Reaches’ by Martin Lewis.

Winner: 'Space Between Us...' by Łukasz Sujka.

Winner: ‘Space Between Us…’ by Łukasz Sujka.

Skyscapes

Highly commended: 'Voice of the Universe' by Weijian Chen.

Highly commended: ‘Voice of the Universe’ by Weijian Chen.

Runner-up: 'Desert Magic' by Stefan Liebermann.

Runner-up: ‘Desert Magic’ by Stefan Liebermann.

Winner: 'Painting the Sky' by Thomas Kast.

Winner: ‘Painting the Sky’ by Thomas Kast.

Stars and nebulae

Highly commended: 'The Misty Elephant's Trunk' by Min Xie.

Highly commended: ‘The Misty Elephant’s Trunk’ by Min Xie.

Runner-up: 'The Dolphin Jumping out of an Ocean of Gas' by Connor Matherne.

Runner-up: ‘The Dolphin Jumping out of an Ocean of Gas’ by Connor Matherne.

Winner: 'Cosmic Inferno' by Peter Ward.

Winner: ‘Cosmic Inferno’ by Peter Ward.

Young competition

Runner-up: 'Detached Prominences' by Thea Hutchinson.

Runner-up: ‘Detached Prominences’ by Thea Hutchinson.

Winner: 'The Four Planets and the Moon' by Alice Fock Hang.

Winner: ‘The Four Planets and the Moon’ by Alice Fock Hang.

Tickets for the 2020 exhibition are available from Sept 14. via the Royal Museum Greenwich website, if you happen to be in London. Otherwise, find the biggest screen you can.

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