every year the royal observatory greenwich chooses the best space photos taken by talented photographers. the 2017 shortlist makes the competition a tough call, with dazzling photos of the milky way, shooting stars, constellations and much more.

image by yulia zhulikova
aurora borealis swirl above snow covered trees which are illuminated by street lamps giving them a vibrant pink glow 



the winners of the RCG competition’s nine categories and two special prizes will be announced on thursday 14 september at a special award ceremony at the royal observatory greenwich and the stunning shortlisted images will be on display once again in a free exhibition at the astronomy centre from saturday 16 september.


for the first time in the competition’s nine years, judges received images of uranus and asteroids from among the 3,800 entries from enthusiastic amateurs and professional photographers, taken from 91 countries.

image by andrew whyte
concentric star trails spin over an observer during the hour when the clocks ‘spring forward’ to begin british summer time

image by bernard miller
the cigar galaxy – believed to be the closest place to our planet – showcases radiant bursts of oranges and reds

image by rob bowes
a shooting star dashes across the sky over the landscape of portland, dorset

image by chris heapy
lying in the constellation of gemini, ic443 is a galactic supernova remnant, a star that is said to of exploded 30,000 years ago

image by steve brown
the pop art display exhibits the brightest star in our sky, sirius

image by warren keller
lying in the constellation of orion, at a distance of 1467 light-years from our planet is the emission and reflection nebula ngc 2023

image by chris heapy
lying in the constellation of gemini, ic443 is a galactic supernova remnant, a star that is said to of exploded 30,000 years ago

image by brandon yoshizawa
snowy mountains in the eastern sierras stand before the aspen grove while the milky way shines above

image by derek burdeny
the northern lights shine above colored lights cast in the waters of the harbour in trømso

image by haitong yu
the milky way can be seen above a small radio telescope from a large array at miyun station, national astronomical observatory of china, in the suburbs of beijing.

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