<p><strong>An amazingly clear portrait of the king of our solar system, Jupiter, earned top honors in the <a href="http://www.nmm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/astronomy-photographer-of-the-year/winners-2011/">2011 Astronomy Photographer of the Year</a></strong> contest.</p><p>U.K. resident Damien Peach snapped the frame from the Caribbean island of Barbados, capturing not only the planet's intricate cloud bands but also the disks of two of its largest moons, Ganymede (upper right) and Io. The shot won first place in the "Our Solar System" category, as well as the title of overall winner.</p><p>"There were so many beautiful images this year, but this one really stood out for me," competition judge and astronomer Marek Kukula said in a press statement.</p><p>"It looks like a Hubble picture. The detail in Jupiter's clouds and storms is incredible, and the photographer has also managed to capture detail on two of the planet's moons, which is remarkable for an image taken from the ground."</p><p>Held for the third year in a row, the competition is run by the U.K.'s Greenwich Observatory and<em> Sky at Night Magazine</em>. This year amateur astronomers from all over the world submitted more than 700 entries, vying for the top prize of U.K. £1,500.</p><p>(See the <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/09/photogalleries/100913-space-pictures-science-astronomy-photographer-year-best/">winners from last year's astrophotography contest</a>.)</p><p><em>—Andrew Fazekas</em></p>

Overall Winner: "Jupiter With Moons"

An amazingly clear portrait of the king of our solar system, Jupiter, earned top honors in the 2011 Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest.

U.K. resident Damien Peach snapped the frame from the Caribbean island of Barbados, capturing not only the planet's intricate cloud bands but also the disks of two of its largest moons, Ganymede (upper right) and Io. The shot won first place in the "Our Solar System" category, as well as the title of overall winner.

"There were so many beautiful images this year, but this one really stood out for me," competition judge and astronomer Marek Kukula said in a press statement.

"It looks like a Hubble picture. The detail in Jupiter's clouds and storms is incredible, and the photographer has also managed to capture detail on two of the planet's moons, which is remarkable for an image taken from the ground."

Held for the third year in a row, the competition is run by the U.K.'s Greenwich Observatory and Sky at Night Magazine. This year amateur astronomers from all over the world submitted more than 700 entries, vying for the top prize of U.K. £1,500.

(See the winners from last year's astrophotography contest.)

—Andrew Fazekas

Photograph courtesy Damian Peach

Pictures: Best Astronomy Photos of 2011 Named

A sharp Jupiter, brilliant auroras, and a moon "hunt" are among the winners of the 2011 Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest.

Read This Next

What drives elephant poaching? It’s not greed
How old are you, really? The answer is written on your face.
The rise of vegan safaris

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet