The Royal Observatory Greenwich today announced the winners of Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2012.
This year's overall winner was Martin Pugh of Australia, for his capture of the M51 whirlpool galaxy (third photo above). The observatory's public astronomer Marek Kukula toasted the photo:
“The photographer has made the most of exceptionally good atmospheric conditions to capture an astonishing range of detail in his image of this iconic galaxy; the beautiful spiral structure, dark lanes of dust, and the way the pink clouds of hydrogen really stand out – it’s a remarkable achievement by an amateur astronomer; one of the best images of M51 that I’ve seen.”
The best images, including the six winners shown above, will be on show at the observatory until 5 February 2013. Entrance is free.