Overall Winner: Guiding Light to the Stars
A lighthouse beacon stands guard beneath the star-studded Milky Way arching over New Zealand's Cape Palliser coastline, as seen in this overall winning photograph from the Royal Observatory's 2013 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
Australian Marc Gee—who also grabbed top prize for the Earth and Space category—impressed the judges by capturing a tremendous depth and clarity in this stunning snapshot.
"I love the tranquil combination of sea and sky in this beautiful image, along with the comforting human element of the cliff-top lighthouse," said Marek Kukula, competition judge and Royal Observatory Public Astronomer.
"This view from the shores of New Zealand makes me think of the long voyages the Maori's ancestors made into uncharted oceans, guided by the stars."
Now in its fifth year, the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition selected winners in seven categories from more than 1,200 entries from 48 countries.