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These Astronomy Photographer of the Year images are out of this world!

The Horsehead and Flame Nebula © Connor Matherne

The UK Royal Observatory has announced the shortlisted images in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Now in its eleventh year, the 2019 competition had over 4,600 entries from astrophotographers from 90 countries around the world – setting a new record for the contest.

Shortlisted images from this year’s entrants include an Aurora shaped like a bird spreading its wings and flying over a destroyed military hydroelectric station in Murmansk, a bright display of noctilucent clouds as seen from Thurso Beach in the north of Scotland and the remnants of an 1860s pier illuminated by the majestic purple hues of our galaxy.

Photographers have also captured sights from across our Solar System, galaxy and the wider universe  from a planetary Helix Nebula located  650 light years away, to the second largest planet in our solar system, Saturn, which is wreathed by a complex system of icy rings and by more than 60 moons.

Some of the shortlisted images

Embrace of the mountains, heart of the universe! © Majid Ghohroodi

First of All © Alessandro Cantarelli

Bloodborne © Keijo Laitala

Deep in the Heart of Mordor - NGC 7293 © Andrew Campbell

Fiery Lobster Nebula © Suavi Lipinski

Reflections of aurorae and meteors © Angel Yu

Out on a Limb © Alastair Woodward

Out on a Limb © Alastair Woodward

The Sculptor Galaxy © Bernard Miller, Martin Pugh

The Sculptor Galaxy © Bernard Miller, Martin Pugh

The Horsehead and Flame Nebula © Connor Matherne

The Horsehead and Flame Nebula © Connor Matherne

Coming in to land at Mare Crisium Spaceport! © Bud Martin Budzynski

Coming in to land at Mare Crisium Spaceport! © Bud Martin Budzynski

About the competition

The competition’s judges include renowned comedian and keen amateur astronomer, Jon Culshaw.

The winners of the competition’s nine categories and two special prizes will be announced on Thursday 12 September at a special award ceremony at the National Maritime Museum in London. 

The winning images will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum from Friday 13 September, alongside a selection of exceptional shortlisted images. 

Winners and shortlisted entries will also be published in an official book in September. 

Read more:
Astrophotography: How-to guides, tips and videos on getting your best shots
Astrophotography tools: the best camera, lenses and gear for shooting the night sky
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