The 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition has received a record number of entries, up 40% on last year. The annual contest, run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine, has attracted spectacular images from over 50 countries across the globe.
The shortlist will be revealed in the summer, with the winners expected to be announced on 18 September.
IBTimes UK presents a selection of this year's entries. Stargazing at Malin Head by Martina Gardiner, who says: "The Milky Way and zodiacal light at Banba's Crown, Malin Head - Ireland's most northerly point. This shot was taken an hour before moonrise. Looking westwards across the Atlantic Ocean there is no other light source except strong zodiacal light which backlights the scene wonderfully. This photo is a panorama comprising five portrait shots." Martina Gardiner PAN-STARRS at the end of the polar night by Rune Johan Engeboe, who writes: "The polar night, the aurora and the comet PAN-STARRS comes to an end (for this season). There is also a meteor or Iridium flare happening in the left-hand side of the photo." Rune Johan Engeboe Venus Rising by Ainsley Bennett: "Venus rising above the horizon and reflecting on the sea with the Milky Way in full view on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. The sky is starting to lighten and take on a bluer hue due to the sunrise only an hour or so away." Ainsley Bennett IC 443 - The Jellyfish Nebula by Bob Franke, who says: "The image uses the Hubble Palette. The SII data (sulfur) are mapped to the red channel, the Ha (hydrogen) to the green and the 0III (oxygen) data are mapped to the blue channel. IC 443, the Jellyfish Nebula, is a Galactic supernova remnant, in the constellation Gemini that occurred 8,000 years ago. IC 443 spans about 65 light-years at an estimated distance of 5,000 light-years." Bob Franke A starry night in Skaftafell, Iceland, by Stephane Vetter Stephane Vetter Liberty by Rakibul Syed: NGC3581 & the surrounding area. Rakibul Syed Talmine Bay by Maciej Winiarczyk, who says: "Entropy in Talmine Bay - dust to stardust. Decaying remains of schooner Reaper on Talmine Beach, Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, with Milky Way in the background. Faint aurora borealis display on the left drowning light of Andromeda Galaxy." Maciej Winiarczyk Storm Force Aurora at Dunluce Castle by Martina Gardiner, who writes: "My wonderful view of Dunluce Castle, County Antrim during the intense aurora storm of February 27, 2014. This photo was taken early evening at the height of the storm. It was possible to see the coloured lights dancing in the sky. It's first time I've seen reds and pinks in the skies over Ireland." Martina Gardiner M20Trifid Nebula by Bill Hinge, who says: "This is a 19-image stitched panorama taken at Monument Valley in the morning of March 29, 2014. You can see a comparison of the light pollution being generated by Kayenta on the right versus a regular night sky on the left side of the photo. You can see Mars just above Spica from Virgo at the right edge of the photo, Saturn is in the Libra constellation and just visible right of the galactic centre of the Milky Way is the head of the Scorpius constellation." Bill Hinge Comet Lovejoy and Me by Abhinav Singhai, who says: "Composite of 49 pictures of 10 second (total of about 8 minutes exposure) each stacked in deep sky stacker to get the details of the comet. One picture of selfie with Comet Lovejoy blended. Picture taken near Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary." Abhinav Singhai Aurora and the Milky Way by Rune Johan Engeboe, who says: "I know of nothing else as beautiful as this - the milky way and the aurora. Taken in the mountains outside the city of Harstad, Norway." Rune Johan Engeboe Stellar Way by Leonardo Delgado Ariza: "The photograph highlights the Milky Way, passing through a rural farm in Colombia." Leonardo Delgado Ariza