Each year, the Royal Observatory's Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition brings photographers together from all ends of the world to celebrate the best and brightest new images in space-related photography. With over 1,700 entries, this year's competition saw entries that came from places as widespread as Hong Kong, New Zealand, and even the edge of space, vying for bragging rights in the categories of Earth and Space, Our Solar System, Deep Space, and more. The only vantage point that could have made these images any more immersive? LiftPort's space elevator.
Above, Coastal Stairways, the special prize-winning image of the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer envisions the speckled Milky Way from the rocky crags of New Zealand. Says winning photographer Chris Murphy, "This was my first night of shooting dedicated to astrophotography. I drove from Wellington, New Zealand, to the Wairarapa district. There are some amazing rock formations there and I knew they would make great foregrounds. Conditions were perfect, with no light pollution and a super-clear, crisp night."
Below, more winning entries from Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014: