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Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2012: Shortlisted Images Revealed (PICTURES)

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The shortlist for this year's Astronomy Photographer Of The Year competition at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich has been revealed.

The stunning photos are some of the finest ever seen in the competition, revealing beautiful views of space, stars and galaxies.

They shots depict everything from the moon setting behind a historic abbey in Italy, an eruption on the surface of the sun and clouds of dust giving birth to dazzling new stars thousands of light years away.

The competition's judges include BBC The Sky at Night's Sir Patrick Moore, acclaimed photographer Dan Holdsworth and the Royal Observatory's Public Astronomer Dr. Marek Kukula.

All entries to the competition were submitted to a Flickr group and range from experienced amateurs to those newer to the pastime.

Winners will be announced on 19 September, and the exhibition will be open to the public from the following day until February. First price is £1,500.

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