Embargoed until 00.01 BST on 20.9.12. The Royal Observatory’s 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition – Highly Commended entry in the Deep Space category. (An exhibition of all the winning images opens at the Royal Observatory on 20 September.) Image: The spooky shapes that seem to haunt this starry expanse are in fact cosmic dust clouds that fill huge volumes of space between the stars. The dust consists of tiny grains of minerals and ices and is an important building block for the formation of future stars and planets. The photographer had to travel 1000 kilometres in to the mountains of the Crimea to find a sky dark enough to capture this image.
Home » » 5. Deep Space category highly commended: Sharpless-136: Ghost in Cepheus by Oleg Bryzgalov (Ukraine).