Next week the 2017 awards for Astronomy Photographer of the Year will be announced at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. But let's look back to the early days of this competition.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2010 An ancient tree is young compared to the center of the Galaxy. The Sun shines through dark clouds as a perfect ring in an annular eclipse. These are two of the dazzling images in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition 2010.
More fantastic astronomy pictures from around the world were sent to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England in 2011. Exquisite skyscapes and landscapes, aurorae and nebulae, and the expanding shock wave of an ancient supernova explosion. Young astronomers continue to impress too.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012 An exquisite whirlpool of two galaxies held together by invisible bonds was this year's winning image. And the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year captured the beauty of the Pleiades, a cluster of hot blue stars surrounded by a delicate haze of reflective dust. A feast for the eye.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 Gasp at the Galaxy's starry glow. Be awed by aurorae. Marvel at meteors. Be dazzled by deep space. It's the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 competition winners. The exhibition was in Greenwich, England, but the pictures are still online.