Each year, photographers around the world take photos of distant cosmic objects and events.
A dark sky is like a window into the galaxy, allowing us to see a view of the universe unavailable in the daytime or under the glow of artificial lights.
An annual competition sponsored by the Royal Observatory Greenwich selects the best astronomy photos every year, and 2017 is no exception. The shortlisted images for the contest feature dazzling views of the Milky Way, star trails, auroras, and much more.
The winners of the competition will be announced in September, but do yourself a favor: Sit back, relax and marvel at some of the awe-inspiring photos submitted to the contest in 2017.