Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014

From the magical aurora borealis to the violent surface of the sun, you can see the astounding winning images of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 competition at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich

 Overall winner: Aurora over a Glacier Lagoon by James Woodend (UK)

Overall winner: Aurora over a Glacier Lagoon by James Woodend (UK)

The magic of space continues to beguile us every time we see new astounding images of the aurora borealis, a horse head nebula, a solar eclipse or the inexplicably hot and churning surface of the sun.

You can see the cream of these awe-inspiring images, the winner and runners up of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Awards 2014, at the Royal Observatory from now until February 2015.

British photographer James Woodend beat over a 1,000 amateur and professional photographers from around the globe to win the title of Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014.  The judges were mesmerised by Woodend’s shot portraying a vivid green aurora dancing across the Icelandic night sky and reflected symmetrically in the glacial Jökulsarlon lagoon of Vatnajökull National Park. 

Below are winners of the other categories and special prizes, including a breath-taking view of Earth taken from the brink of space (87,000 feet above the ground), with the help of a high altitude balloon launched from Boulder, Colorado by Patrick Cullis (USA); the snaking swirls of superheated gas on the boiling surface of the Sun captured by Alexandra Hart (UK); a figure silhouetted against the backdrop of a Kenyan savannah skyline, a rarely seen hybrid solar eclipse, taken by Eugen Kamenew (Germany); and a stark yet opulent portrayal of the rock formations of the Wairarapa district in New Zealand, contrasting with the dusty clouds dancing across the Milky Way photographed by Chris Murphy (New Zealand) winner of the Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer. 

 Deep Space winner: The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) by Bill Snyder (USA)

Deep Space winner: The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) by Bill Snyder (USA)

 Our Solar System winner: Ripples in a Pond by Alexandra Hart (UK)

Our Solar System winner: Ripples in a Pond by Alexandra Hart (UK)

 People and Space winner: Hybrid Solar Eclipse 2 by Eugen Kamenew (Germany)

People and Space winner: Hybrid Solar Eclipse 2 by Eugen Kamenew (Germany)

 Robotic Scope winner: NGC 3718 by Mark Hanson (USA)

Robotic Scope winner: NGC 3718 by Mark Hanson (USA)

 The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer winner: Coastal Stairways by Chris Murphy (New Zealand)

The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer winner: Coastal Stairways by Chris Murphy (New Zealand)

  Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year winner:  The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) by Shishir & Shashank Dholakia (USA) aged 15

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year winner: The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) by Shishir & Shashank Dholakia (USA) aged 15

You can see these images alongside the runners up and commended entries at the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 exhibition at the Royal Observatory until 22 February 2015. Entry is free.