Out of this world: From total solar eclipse to stunning auroras, 15 best final frontier photos

© INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH
A total solar eclipse, a full face of the moon, amazing auroras – all that and more left stargazers stunned over 2015. We take a look at the winners of this year’s astrophotography competition and their magnificent pictures of outer space.

Luc Jamet took this photo from the Sassendalen valley in the Norwegian territory of Svalbard on March 20.

“The total solar eclipse was one of the astronomical highlights of the year and Luc Jamet has captured it perfectly," Royal Observatory public astronomer Marek Kukula said in a statement announcing the winners of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 competition.

Total solar eclipse © Luc Jamet / INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH

"I love the way that the icy landscape of Svalbard reflects and intensifies the evocative colors of the sky — colors that only occur during the few minutes of totality, and which make any eclipse an unforgettable experience,” he added.

READ MORE: Stunning space animation shows night sky with faraway galaxies much, much closer (VIDEO)

Jamet also received a £2,500 award for the photo.

Comet Lovejoy © George Martin / INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH

George Martin, 15, who took an amazing picture of Comet Lovejoy in the night skies, was awarded the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year prize.

The Arrow Missed the Heart © Lefteris Velissaratos / INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH

Photographers were also awarded for their work in a variety of categories including "People and Space,""Our Moon," "Our Sun" and "Galaxies."

The Magnificent Omega Centauri © Ignacio Diaz Bobillo / INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH

Another jaw-dropping space phenomenon captured by photographers all over the globe was the auroras. In this category, the Australian Jamen Percy bagged the award. 

Aurore silk skies © Jamen Percy / INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH

The photographer was waiting for the aurora in Abisko National Park in Lapland, and almost gave up on seeing the stunning sight following many hours spent on the top of a mountain.  

READ MORE: Amazing footage of what interstellar flight through Milky Way looks like (VIDEO)

However, as he walked down the mountain, he saw the reflection of a stunning green aurora on the side of the mountain, and took the picture. 

M33 Core © Michael van Doom / INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH

The M33 Core photo by Michael van Doom from the Netherlands depicts a galaxy ‘far, far away’: three million light years away from our planet. Moreover, it represents one of the most distant objects visible to the naked eye. 

Sunset Peak Star Trail © Chap Him Wong / INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH

In the ‘People and Space’ category, this photo of Sunset Peak Star Trail demonstrates camp shelters on the third highest mountain in Hong Kong, 869 meters high.

Orion DT © David Tolliday / INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH

Another astronomical highlight this year has been nebulae, so the prize for Best Newcomer went to David Tolliday from the UK who captured the Orion Nebula, 1,300 light years from Earth.

READ MORE: Stars and auroras: Stunning beauty of night sky in 5 time-lapse videos

The nebula is huge and measures around 24 light years across. It has a mass 2000 times that of our Sun.

Full Face of our Moon © András Papp / INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH

Check out other winning photos below.

Huge Prominence Lift-off © Paolo Porcellana / INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH

Comet C2013 A1 alongside Mars © Sebastian Voltmer / INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH