There are some photography competitions that are almost guaranteed to leave you gazing at the images in wonderment — Astronomy Photographer of the Year is definitely one of them.
The images range from the distant pinks and blues of the Orion Nebula to more-earthbound images such as a lone figure dwarfed by the Milky Way or people silhouetted against a rising moon.
Recent events are well represented, including a rare transit of Venus across the Sun, a cosmological event that won’t be repeated until 2117. There are also images of a solar eclipse, the Perseid meteor shower, an annular eclipse, and a comet racing through our solar system.
The overall winner is a mightily impressive composition of the Milky Way arcing across the sky and ending on the guiding light from a lighthouse.
Once more, we were impressed by young astronomers, particularly a 10-year-old American’s panorama overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge that contains both the sun setting and the moon rising.
This year’s winners and runners up are spectacular once again, and this visual treat follows hot on the heels of the equally magnificent images we saw in the recently closed Visions of the Universe, down the hill at the National Maritime Museum.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year is on at The Royal Observatory, Blackheath Avenue, SE10 8XJ until 23 February. Admission is free.
Also scattered across the Royal Museums Greenwich are the works of Yinka Shonibare exploring origin and cultural exchange.