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2018’s best photos of the night sky are extraordinarily beautiful



best astronomy pictures photographs 2018 royal observatory winner people space canyon copyright brad goldpaintThe 2018 winner of the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.Copyright of Brad Goldpaint; Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Looking up at space reminds us that everyone and everything on Earth is stuck together on a big space rock that’s drifting through an infinite black void.

Unfortunately, terrestrial concerns like work, dinner, and getting enough sleep tend to keep us facing down.

Thankfully, some people not only take the time to appreciate the night sky, but are also talented enough to capture its thrilling splendor with mesmerizing pictures — humbling images that remind us of our cosmically fragile existence.

The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, now in its 10th year, honors that spirit with an epic distillation of “the most beautiful and spectacular images of space and the cosmos,” according to the Royal Observatory Greenwich, which hosts the contest.

For this year’s event, judges reviewed more than 4,200 entries from 91 countries before settling on 11 winning images.

The overall winner is shown above. The picture netted photographer Brad Goldpoint nearly $13,000 in prize money. It’s a long exposure titled “Transport the Soul,” and it shows the Milky Way galaxy (right), moon (center), and the tripod-wielding astrophotographer himself (left) perched on the lip of a desert canyon in Moab, Utah.

Here are the other 10 award-winning images announced this week, along with a handful of striking runners-up.

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