Our cosmos is freaking wonderful. And a few talented and patient photographers have managed to capture all of its glory. It’s time to celebrate them, by ogling some of their most brilliant photos.

Every year, the Royal Observatory Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition picks the best photos by astrophotographers. And now, a new book collects the most incredibly gorgeous images from the past several years, bringing the cosmos to your coffee table. We’re happy to be able to share some of the pictures from the book Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Prize-winning Images by Top Astrophotographers with you.

Above: Aurora Brutality by Tommy Richardsen, from 2012.

Here’s how Firefly Books describes this book:

This stunning collection of images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition assembles the very best astrophotography from around the world. Organized by the Royal Observatory, the photographs capture an astounding range of astronomical phenomena both within our solar system and far into deep space.

The book features four sections: Earth and Space, Our Solar System, Deep Space, and Overall Winners. The images are from the first six years of the competition (2009-2014), and include all the winners from each year along with a carefully curated selection from the shortlists. They are accompanied by notes from the judges and photographer, with background information and camera specifications.


Check out some more of the incredible beauty below.

  • Aurora Over a Glacier Lagoon by James Woodend 2014


  • Eagle Nebula Hybrid Image by Bill Snyder 2012
  • Hi Hello by Ben Canales 2012


  • Star Trails Blue Mountains by Ted Dobosz 2009
  • Strand of Pearls by Rick Whitacre 2012


  • The Trapezium Cluster and Surrounding Nebulae by Laszlo Francsics 2013
  • Veil Nebula by J P Metsavinio 2012

And here’s the cover of the book, which is available on Amazon.com:


Photographs taken with permission from Astronomy Photography of the Year, Firefly Books, $39.95.