The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition winners

1. Australian based photographer Martin Pugh has claimed the top prize in the Royal Observatory’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition for the second time.

The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition winners

2. The best of these photographs are showcased in a free exhibition in the Royal Observatory from 20 September 2012 until February 2013.

The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition winners

3. Deep Space category highly commended: NGC 6960 – The Witch’s Broom by Robert Franke (USA). Part of the Veil Nebula.

The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition winners

4. Deep Space category highly commended: The Perseus Cluster – Abell 426 by Robert Franke (USA). Situated almost 250 million light-years.

The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition winners

5. Deep Space category highly commended: Sharpless-136: Ghost in Cepheus by Oleg Bryzgalov (Ukraine).

The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition winners

6. Earth and Space category winner: Star Icefall by Masahiro Miyasaka (Japan). Taken in Nagano, Japan, this image shows Orion,

The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition winners

7. Earth and Space category runner-up: Green World by Arild Heitmann (Norway).

The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition winners

8. Earth and Space category runner-up: Green World by Arild Heitmann (Norway).

The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition winners

9. Earth and Space category highly commended: The Milky Way View from the Piton de l’Eau, Reunion Island by Luc Perrot.

The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition winners

10. Earth and Space category highly commended: Sky away from the Lights by Tunç Tezel (Turkey).

The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition winners

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