The highly commended images for the Deep Space category of the 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

The Deep Space category is for photos of anything beyond our Solar System, including stars, nebulae and galaxies. Long-exposure photography is the best way to see and capture colour views of our distant neighbourhood; visit How to photograph deep space objects for expert tips.

Highly commended for the APY 2014 Deep Space category

The three astrophotographers who were highly commended in the 2014 competition were Rogelio Bernal Andreo (USA), J-P Metsävanio (Finland) and Marco Lorenzi (Italy).

Bernal Andreo’s ‘California vs Pleiades’ gives us an unusual view of the Pleidades cluster, showing it in the broader context of its local environment, drifting through a chaotic region of dark dust. The California Nebula, named for its resemblance to the US state, is the cloud of glowing hydrogen gas to the left of the image.

Metsävanio’s ‘Veil Nebula Detail (IC 1340)’ is formed of angular shapes and a garish colour palette, which help to convey the violent origins of this gaseous structure, part of the debris of an exploding star that detonated over 5000 years ago.

Lastly, Lorenzi’s image ‘At the Feet of Orion (NGC 1999) – Full Field' is centred on NGC 1999, a fantastic area situated below Orion’s Belt. Images like this one remind us that there is often more going on in our galaxy than meets the eye, and that the space between the stars is rarely completely empty.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is an annual global search for the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos by amateur and professional astrophotographers. The winning images are showcased in a stunning exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. 

Visit the IAPY 2015 exhibition