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Stunning Pictures Showcase The Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014

18/09/2014 12:32 BST | Updated 20/09/2014 10:59 BST

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 has been crowned.

British photographer James Woodend's stunning shot of an aurora over Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland has won this year's competition.

Beating over a thousand amateur and professional photographers from around the world to win this title as well as securing the £1,500 top prize.

astronomy photographer of the year

Aurora over a glacier lagoon © James Woodend

 

Competition judge and Royal Observatory Public Astronomer, Dr Marek Kukula said: “I love the combination of whites and blue in the glacier with the chilly green of the aurora in this wonderfully icy picture. We’ve had some amazing aurora pictures in the competition over the last six years, but this is the first time a photo of the Northern Lights has actually won the Astronomy Photographer of the Year prize. We were all completely in awe of the colours and symmetry of James’ shot.”

 

BBC Sky at Night Magazine’s Editor Chris Bramley, who is a judge for the competition, said: “This year two things stood out for me while judging: the record-breaking number of 2,500 entries from a truly global community of astrophotographers, and the staggering quality of the images – it was regularly hard to believe that many were taken from the surface of the Earth and not a space telescope orbiting our planet.”

 

Fellow judge, space scientist and The Sky at Night presenter, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock added, “Every year the competition becomes more and more challenging to judge and we’re always astounded by the skill of the photographers. The Deep Space category, where the entrants have been able to capture such amazing details of objects light-years away and are almost on par with images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, never fails to impress.”

See all the other winning entries below...

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014: Winners