The contest is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, an iconic scientific institution founded nearly 400 years ago. There are eight key categories in the contest, spanning a broad spectrum of astrophotography styles, from skyscapes incorporating land perspectives, to more focused categories looking at galaxies and aurorae.
As with previous years, the contest illustrates the incredible skill and determination these photographers display to create these images. UK photographer Ben Bush’s shot of an aurora over Iceland’s famous Vestrahorn is a great example. To get the perfect shot of the aurora reflecting over the water, Bush waded out into the freezing North Atlantic ocean in the middle of night.
Other shortlisted images highlight the patience and timing needed to compose the ideal frame. Matthew Brown’s shot of the Moon passing behind London’s Shard skyscraper is an example of a fleeting moment in time that took the photographer days to catch.
The winning photographs will be revealed later in the year, sharing £10,000 in prize money.
Take a look through our gallery at more shortlisted images from this year’s contest.