Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Out of this world: Astronomy Photographer of the Year


These stunning images from this year's Astronomy Photographer of the Year, run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in association with Sky at Night Magazine, were taken by seasoned astro-photographers and complete beginners from around the world.

The candidates were invited to enter their photographs in four categories - Earth and Space, Our Solar System, Deep Space, and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Australian based photographer Martin Pugh claimed the top prize. He also won the accolade in 2009. As well as securing the £1,500 top prize, his image takes pride of place in the exhibition of winning photographs.

Click HERE to view the awe-inspiring images

The competition once again received a record number of entries with a huge range of subjects captured by amateur and professional photographers from around the globe. The Sky at Night’s Sir Patrick Moore, who is a judge in the competition, said of this year’s contest: "Many of the pictures have been taken with equipment that was out of the range of the amateur many years ago. I also like the choice of subjects: photographing people and the night skies is very difficult. The entrants have done very well indeed."

Astronomy Photographer of the Year is now in its fourth year. The best of these exceptional photographs – winners, runners-up or highly commended in the competition’s different categories and special prizes – are showcased in a free exhibition in the Royal Observatory’s Astronomy Centre which is open to the public from 20 September 2012 until February 2013.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012, 20 September 2012 – 17 February 2013, The Royal Observatory Greenwich, London,  www.rmg.co.uk/astrophoto