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Guiding LIght to the Stars. (Image: Mark Gee) Winner of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013. Taken at Cape Palliser, NZ, on the right, a lighthouse. In the center, the Milky Way arching over the sky. To the left, the two nebulous figures are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds - satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013" www.bellaonline.c...

"The Waxing Crescent Moon" by Jacob Marchio (age 14). Highly commended in the Young Astronomy Photographer category. The image was taken three days after the new Moon. Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013" www.bellaonline.c...

"The Milky Way Galaxy" by Jacob Marchio (age 14), Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year. Beautiful detail of stars and dust lanes. Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013" www.bellaonline.c...

"Rho Ophiuchi and Antares Nebulae" by Tom O’Donoghue, runner-up in the Deep Space category. Dust in this complex star-forming region gives it a mysteriously misty appearance. The dark regions are opaque dusty areas. The colored regions are lit up by the energy of hot stars, either reflecting light off the dust or energizing the hydrogen gas. Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013" www.bellaonline.c...

"Celestial Impasto: Sh2–239" by Adam Block (USA). A dusty star-forming region in Taurus. The pink filaments show where emission from hot young stars excites hydrogen gas. And it really could be an expressionist painting. Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013" www.bellaonline.c...

"Cosmic Alignment" by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo was highly commended in "Our Solar System". It caught my eye even though only Comet Lemmon is a Solar System object. Diaz got it in the same frame with 47 Tucanae, a star cluster in our Galaxy, and the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. These objects represent three different scales in the cosmos. Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013" www.bellaonline.c...

"Icy Visitor" by Fredrik Broms. Highly commended in the "Earth and Space" category. Comet Panstarrs is seen alone in a cold blue sky above jagged snowy mountains in a Norwegian fjord. Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013" www.bellaonline.c...

"Green Energy" by Fredrik Broms. Runner-up in the "Earth and Space" category. A very dramatic aurora photograph which looks like a whirlpool in the sky. Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013" www.bellaonline.c...

"Moon Silhouettes" by Mark Gee. Winner of the "People in Space" category. In order to get the Moon looking so large compared to the people, Gee took this picture from over 2 km away. The golden color is typical of a Moon low on the horizon. Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013" www.bellaonline.c...

Floating Metropolis - NGC 253. (Image: Michael Sidonio, Highly Commended) This galaxy was discovered in 1783 by Caroline Herschel and is also known as the Silver Dollar Galaxy.

Omega Centauri by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo. Highly Commended in the 'Deep Space' category. This globular cluster, a is the largest one we can see. It was catalogued as a star by Ptolemy and until 1766 when Edmond Halley showed that it was nebular. Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013" www.bellaonline.c...

Milky Way arching over Yosemite Valley in California. A lens-shaped (lenticular) cloud hovers over the distinct granite dome of Liberty Cap near the centre of the photograph. (Image credit: Rogelio Bernal Andreo) Finalist in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 competition. Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013" www.bellaonline.c...

The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51). Winner of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012 and the Deep Space category. Besides M51 there is also a small companion galaxy with which it's interacting. (Image credit: Martin Pugh) Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012" www.bellaonline.c...

Star Icefall. (Credit: Masahiro Miyasaka) Winner in the Earth & Space category of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012. It shows a large icefall with the spires of ice seeming to reach up towards Orion, Taurus and the Pleiades in a dark, clear sky. ©Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012" www.bellaonline.c...

Transit of Venus 2012 (taken in H alpha). With this photo Chris Warren won the "Our Solar System" section of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. He just caught it in a small gap in the thick cloud. ©Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012" www.bellaonline.c...

The Pleiades (the Seven Sisters). Winner of the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012 competition. (Credit: Jacob von Chorus) The photo shows beautifully the star cluster and the blue reflection nebulae surrounding the hot young stars. ©Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012" www.bellaonline.c...

The Daytime Moon. (Image credit: Laurent Joli-Coeur). A runner-up in the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012. His image is a mosaic of high resolution pictures of the Moon. Not the usual night-time Moon, but the daytime Moon against a bright blue sky. ©Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012" www.bellaonline.c...

"Jupiter with Io and Ganymede" by Damien Peach. Winner of the Astrophotographer of the Year 2011 competition. An impressive image that compares well with those taken with large telescopes. At the lower left is Io and the larger moon is Ganymede. ©Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011" www.bellaonline.c...

Jupiter, as imaged by the Cassini spacecraft. (Credit: NASA) The dark spot is the shadow of one of Jupiter's moons. ©Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011" www.bellaonline.c...

"Vela Supernova Remnant" by Marco Lorenzi. Winner of the Deep Space category in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011 competition. It shows the shockwave from the destruction of a massive star ten thousand years ago. Its expansion has produced the filigree. The whole nebula extends across an area of sky equal to twenty full moons, so this picture is a mosaic. ©Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011" www.bellaonline.c...

Shell Galaxies (NGC474 and NGC467), by Marco Lorenzi. Winner Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011 for an image taken by a remote telescope and processed by the the entrant. Even the images you see from the Hubble Space Telescope have been processed from raw data - it's an important part of making sense of the data. ©Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011" www.bellaonline.c...

"Galactic Paradise," by Tunç Tezel. Winner in Earth & Space category of Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011. It's an image of the Milky Way above the exotic landscape of Mangaia in the Cook Islands. It clearly shows the dark nebulae which form the object known as the Emu in Australian Aboriginal astronomy. ©Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011" www.bellaonline.c...

"Stargazing" by Jeffrey Sullivan. Winner of the "People & Space" category of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011 competition. The silhouetted photographer almost seems to be part of the rocky landscape. ©Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011" www.bellaonline.c...

"Starry Night Sky," by Nicole Sullivan. Runner-up for Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011. Star trails are produced in a photo when the camera isn't set to track objects in the sky to compensate for the movement of the Earth. Nicole's father was a winner in one of the competition categories. ©Mona Evans, "Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011" www.bellaonline.c...