These Incredible Photographs Of Space Will Leave You in Awe. Whoa.

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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

Aurora over a Glacier Lagoon, James Woodend (UK)

2.) Earth and Space Runner-Up

Wind Farm Star Trails, Matt James (Australia)

3.) Earth and Space Highly Commended

Totality from Above the Clouds, Catalin Beldea (Romania)

4.) Earth and Space Highly Commended

Venus-Lunar Occultation, O Chul Kwon (South Korea)

5.) Earth and Space Highly Commended

Moon Balloon, Patrick Cullis (USA)

6.) Deep Space Winner

The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434), Bill Snyder (USA)

7.) Deep Space Runner Up

The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), David Fitz-Henry (Australia)

8.) Deep Space Highly Commended

Veil Nebula Detail (IC 340), J.P. Metsävainio (Finland)

9.) Our Solar System Winner

Ripples in a Pond, Alexandra Hart (UK)

10.) Our Solar System Highly Commended

Diamonds and Rubies, Tun Tezel (Turkey)

11.) People and Space Winner

Hybrid Solar Eclipse, Eugen Kamenew (Germany)

12.) People and Space Runner Up

Lost Souls, Julie Fletcher (Australia)

13.) Robotic Scope Winner

NGC 3718, Mark Hanson (USA)

14.) The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer Winner

Coastal Stairways, Chris Murphy (New Zealand)

15.) Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year Winner

The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434), Shishir and Shashank Dholakia, aged 15 (USA)

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.