Incredible photos from the best space photographers of 2017

These are just a few of the winning photos chosen as part of the annual Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest in 2017.Interstellar dust shines in starlight light-years away from Earth. Green curtains of the auroras shimmer over a ghostly landscape in Iceland. A famous crater stands out in relief against the surface of the moon.

The images speak for themselves, so put them up on the big screen and scroll through. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Check them out below:

11 PHOTOS
The best space pictures of 2017
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The best space pictures of 2017
M63: Star Streams and the Sunflower Galaxy – Galaxies Winner

A bright, spiral galaxy, Messier 63 looks like a star necklace in which the stars have crashed outwards from the galaxy’s center, producing this fantastic long train. The ghostly star arcs of the Sunflower galaxy had long been an elusive target for the photographer, but upon deciding to take the image in one of the darkest places in Europe – the Rozhen Observatory in the Rhodopes Mountains, Bulgaria – he successfully captured the astronomical object. Despite a warm winter and an early spring, there were snow drifts more than one meter high and it took a lot of effort to break through them, but the photographer prevailed and captured the glittering galaxy in the unbelievably dark and crystal clear of Rhozen. Rozhen Observatory, Smolyan Province, Bulgaria, April 6, 2016

Photo Credit: OLEG BRYZGALOV

Wanderer in Patagonia - People and Space Winner

A lone stargazer stares up at the stars of our galaxy, the Milky Way, as they stretch across the night sky over the glacier ‘White Stones’ (Piedras Blancas) in the Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina. Alone in the darkness, the photographer made his way over the huge rocks with the mountain river roaring under his feet and the glacier rumbling nearby. El Chaltén, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, September 27, 2016

Photo Credit: Yuri Zvezdny

Encounter of Comet and Planetary Nebula - Robotic Scope Winner

A vibrant image showing the glowing green, comet C/2013 X1 PanSTARRS whizzing past the luminous pink and blue Helix Planetary Nebula, on 5 June 2016. This photograph was taken at an observatory on Tivoli Farm in Namibia, where the photographer installed a mount and telescope with a friend of his. The observatory is fully remote-controlled and frequently maintained during visits, and enabled the photographer to capture this mosaic image of two panels. Tivoli Farm, Khomas, Namibia, June 5, 2016

Photo Credit: Gerald Rhemann

Mercury Rising - Our Sun Winner

On May 9, 2016, the Transit of Mercury occurred, with the smallest planet in the solar system passing directly between the Earth and the sun over the course 7.5 hours – the longest transit of the century. Mercury can be seen towards the center of our star in the image as a tiny black dot. The day of the transit had dawned cloudy but weather forecasts showed clear skies to the north, and the photographer was lucky enough to have a very kind friend who offered the use of his garden so that they were able to view the transit from beginning to just past mid-point. Preston, Lancashire, UK

Photo Credit: Alexandra Hart

Passage to the Milky Way - Skyscapes Winner

The serene sight of the dusky, Milky Way viewed through the minimalist outdoor passageway of LAMOST (the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fibre Spectroscopic Telescope) at the National Astronomical Observatory of China. Shot with an 85 mm lens, the image is a composite of a three-panel panorama, each one with a single exposure. Xinglong, Hebei Province, China, April 9, 2016

Photo Credit: Haitong Yu

The Rho Ophiuchi Clouds - Stars and Nebulae Winner

Taken over three nights at a farm in Namibianear Gamsberg Mountain, this image depicts the Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex, sometimes known as ‘Rho Oph’ for short or the Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud, is named after a bright star in the region. It is a dark emission and reflection nebula about 14 light years across and is situated approximately 460 light years away from our planet, in the constellation of Ophiuchus (the ‘Serpent-Bearer’). It is one of the closest star-forming regions to our solar system. Hakos Farm, Windhoek, Namibia, August 6, 2016

Photo Credit: Artem Mironov

Ghost World - Aurorae Winner

The photographer stood and observed the waves from the sea slowly rolling up on the long beach making the sand wet, resulting in great conditions for catching some reflections. Suddenly, clouds emerged from the nearby mountains and floated across the sea allowing him to capture this other-worldly scene of a powerful, teal aurora sweeping across the night sky in Stokksnes, Iceland. Stokksnes, Iceland, October 5, 2016

Photo Credit: Mikkel Beiter

The Cone Nebula - Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer

A vivid deep-red image of the Cone Nebula, lying about 2,700 light years away in the constellation of Monoceros. The image consists of 20 x 10-minute exposures per filter and is an integration of LRGB (luminance, red, green and blue) and H-Alpha (hydrogen-alpha) filters. The image is calibrated with flat frames and bias frames, aligned and combined to produce one integrated full colour image. PixInsight and Photoshop was used to process the image. Frenegal de la Sierra, Badajoz, Spain, January 10, 2017

Photo Credit: Jason Green

Saturn - Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year

An incredibly detailed image of the ringed planet Saturn, which the photographer captured on a trip to the desert near Al Khanzna, with her dad. The conditions on the 27 May meant the body of Saturn appeared to have more detail than the photographer had ever seen before, resulting in a trip to the desert to escape the light pollution of the city. Using her new ZWO 244 colour camera for the first time coupled with conditions that were so stunning the photographer even managed to capture the beauty of the Cassini division in the rings. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, May 27, 2016

Photo Credit: Olivia Williamson

Blue Tycho - Our Moon Winner

This hyper-saturated picture depicts the face of the lunar surface in a new light. On the brownish terra of our natural satellite, the Moon, the impact crater and its ray system appear as blue-white structures that extend over a thousand miles. The Tycho Crater, named after Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, has a bluish shade that is characteristic of the youngest craters on the Moon, with this particular feature estimated to be 108 million years old. Budapest, Hungary, December 12, 2016

Photo Credit: László Francsics

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