A Giant's Star Trail by Rob Oliver
Each year, the U.K.'s Royal Observatory Greenwich celebrates stargazing with the Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest, a photo competition that showcases the very best of artful night sky observations. The year 2014 is no different. Seen here is the Royal Observatory's shortlist of finalists for the 2014 competition. This Image: Rob Oliver of the UK sent in a composition of several images taken at the famed Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.
Cave with Aurora Skylight by Ingólfur Bjargmundsson
Ingólfur Bjargmundsson of Iceland submitted a photo taken while exploring a 4300 ft. (1300 m.) lava cave in Iceland
Celestial Dance by Claus Possberg
Claus Possberg of Germany captured the Northern Lights over a fjord in Skjervøy, Troms, Norway.
Creature by Ole Christian Salomonsen
Ole Christian Salomonsen of Norway suggests that his photo captures an aurora resembling a strange sky creature. The multi-colored auroras seen in in Kattfjordeidet, Tromsø, Norway, stem from a coronal mass ejection that hit Earth on October 30, 2013.
Center of the Heart Nebula by Ivan Eder
Ivan Eder of Hungary imaged the central region of the Heart Nebula, lying 7500 light years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia.
Eclipse and Old Faithful by Robert Howell
Robert Howell of the United States managed to get two phenomena in one photograph: Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park erupting, and the moon partially eclipsing the sun.
Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower Over Mount Bromo by Justin Ng
Justin Ng of Singapore caught a bright meteor hurtling across the night sky over Mount Bromo one day before the peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, which results Halley’s Comet.
Father and Son Observe Comet PanSTARRS by Chris Cook
Chris Cook and his son of the United States watched the evening display of Comet PanSTARRS on First Encounter Beach, Eastham, Massachusetts, US.
Geminid Fireball by Patrick Cullis
Patrick Cullis of the United States produced a photo of a fireball from the Geminid meteor shower over the Flatirons of Boulder, Colorado, in December 2012.
In-Flight Entertainment by Paul Williams
During a transatlantic flight between London and New York in February 2014, Paul Williams of the UK balanced his camera on his backpack to capture an aurora outside the window.
NGC 6888 by Mark Hanson
Mark Hanson of the United States obtained this colourful starscape in Rancho Hidalgo, New Mexico, depicting the heat of the Crescent Nebula as it glows partly in red and part in blue.