2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition

1. The winners of the competition’s four categories and three special prizes will be announced on 19 September and an exhibition of all the winning images opens the following day on 20 September at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

2. Sky away from the Lights by Tunç Tezel (Turkey). A view from the Uludag National Park in Turkey. The Milky Way stretches across the sky above the manmade pockets of hazy lights from the towns an

3. Double Arch with a Perseid Meteor and the Milky Way by Thomas O’Brien (USA). A meteor is captured streaking across the sky above Arches National Park.

4. Sky Show by Tommy Eliassen (Norway). The dazzling Aurora Borealis over Høgtuva Mountain in Norway.

5. IC 1396 – Elephant-Trunk Nebula by Bill Snyder (USA). This picture shows the column of dust known as the ‘Elephant’s Trunk

6. Full Moon setting behind the Alps by Stefano De Rosa (Italy). This picture captures the full Moon setting behind the Alps

7. 116 megapixel Moon Mosaic by David Campbell (UK). A multi-image mosaic of the Moon, which is our nearest neighbour in space

8. Active Sol by Paul Haese (Australia). This image shows solar activity including a huge solar prominence. 2012 saw the Sun moving towards the peak

9. Cygnus by JP Metsävainio (Finland). This mosaic image reveals a huge swathe of the sky in the constellation of Cygnus.

10. Stargazers by Jessica Caterson (UK), aged 15. This is a self-portrait of the photographer (far right) with her friends at a caravan site in the Gower Peninsular.