These 12 Mind-Blowing Space Images Just Won A Photography Competition

Aurora over a glacier lagoon © James Woodend HIGH RES

Last week, the winners were announced for the prestigious 2014 Astronomy Photography of the Year competition. Photographers competed to place in seven categories, as well as to be named the overall winner.

British photographer James Woodend took the top prize for his photograph, “Aurora over a Glacier Lagoon,” taken in Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park, seen above. Besides honor, Woodend also won £1,500, or about $2,450.

This photo, named runner up in the “Deep Space” category, was taken by David Fitz-Henry from Australia. He photographed the Helix Nebula, one of the closest planetary nebula to Earth, which resembles an eye “looking across 700 light years of space,” as the photos caption puts it.

This photo, named runner up in the "Deep Space" category, was taken by David Fitz-Henry from Australia. He photographed the Helix Nebula, one of the closest planetary nebula to Earth, which resembles an eye "looking across 700 light years of space," as the photos caption puts it.

The winning photograph, taken by Bill Synder, is a stunning shot of the Horsehead Nebula. Snyder chose a wider angle for the shot, further depicting the awe-inducing scale of this massive form.

The winning photograph, taken by Bill Synder, is a stunning shot of the Horsehead Nebula. Snyder chose a wider angle for the shot, further depicting the awe-inducing scale of this massive form.

In the category of “Our Solar System,” the runner up was this image by George Tarsoudis of Tycho, a crater on our moon which can be seen easily from Earth and boasts a diameter of 53 miles.

In the category of "Our Solar System," the runner up was this image by George Tarsoudis of Tycho, a crater on our moon which can be seen easily from Earth and boasts a diameter of 53 miles.

The winner for “Our Solar System” was this photograph, titled “Ripples in a Pond,” depicting the boiling surface of the sun and was taken by Alexandra Hart. “The region of solar activity on the left could engulf the Earth several times over with room to spare,” the Royal Observatory says.

The winner for "Our Solar System" was this photograph, titled "Ripples in a Pond," depicting the boiling surface of the sun and was taken by Alexandra Hart. "The region of solar activity on the left could engulf the Earth several times over with room to spare," the Royal Observatory says.

Julie Fletcher’s photo of “zodiacal light [rising] from the horizon like a pyramid with the brilliant point of Venus at its apex,” earned her runner up in the “People & Space” category.

Julie Fletcher's photo of "zodiacal light [rising] from the horizon like a pyramid with the brilliant point of Venus at its apex," earned her runner up in the "People & Space" category.

The winner of that category, though, was this epic picture by Eugen Kamenew of a rare hybrid solar eclipse, which only happens every 160 years.

The winner of that category, though, was this epic picture by Eugen Kamenew of a rare hybrid solar eclipse, which only happens every 160 years.

This photo, taken by Mark Hanson at the Rancho Hidalgo Observatory in Animas, New Mexico, of the NGC 3718 galaxy won the award for best “Robotic Scope” image. “Gravitational interactions with its near neighbor NGC 3729 (the spiral galaxy below and to the left) are the likely reason for the galaxy’s warped spiral arms,” the Royal Observatory explains.

This photo, taken by Mark Hanson at the Rancho Hidalgo Observatory in Animas, New Mexico, of the NGC 3718 galaxy won the award for best "Robotic Scope" image. "Gravitational interactions with its near neighbor NGC 3729 (the spiral galaxy below and to the left) are the likely reason for the galaxy’s warped spiral arms," the Royal Observatory explains.

This time lapse image by Emmett Sparling of the night sky on News Years Eve 2014 over Cypress Mountain in British Columbia, garner him the spot as runner up for “Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year.”

This time lapse image by Emmett Sparling of the night sky on News Years Eve 2014 over Cypress Mountain in British Columbia, garner him the spot as runner up for "Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year."

The winner of that award, though, was Shishir & Shashank Dholakia for their image of the Horsehead Nebula, which “draws particular attention to the cloud of heavily concentrated dust within the horsehead.”

The winner of that award, though, was Shishir & Shashank Dholakia for their image of the Horsehead Nebula, which "draws particular attention to the cloud of heavily concentrated dust within the horsehead."

While deep in the remote Wairarapa district of New Zealand, Chris Murphy got this amazing shot of the Milky Way with rock formations in the foreground. This shot earned Murphy the Sir Patrick Moore Prize For Best Newcomer.

While deep in the remote Wairarapa district of New Zealand, Chris Murphy got this amazing shot of the Milky Way with rock formations in the foreground. This shot earned Murphy the Sir Patrick Moore Prize For Best Newcomer.

Second place in the “Earth & Space” category was Matt James with this photo of the Capital Wind Farm on the shore of Lake George, taken in Australia near the town of Bungendore.

Second place in the "Earth & Space" category was Matt James with this photo of the Capital Wind Farm on the shore of Lake George, taken in Australia near the town of Bungendore.

This shot, taken by James Woodend of a green aurora over Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park, won the “Earth & Space” category and was also named the best overall photo. We’re not surprised.

This shot, taken by James Woodend of a green aurora over Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park, won the "Earth & Space" category and was also named the best overall photo. We're not surprised.
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