<pre><pre>Winners of the astronomy photographer of the Royal Observatory of Greenwich in 2018

The winners of this year's Astronomical Photographer of the Year contest at the Royal Greenwich Observatory have been announced.

The general winner of the prestigious contest, the American photographer Brad Goldpaint, will receive a cash price of £ 10,000 ($ 13,000).

He has beaten thousands of amateur and professional photographers from around the world to obtain the maximum prize.

The judges were captivated by the impressive image of Mr. Goldpaint, taken in Moab, Utah, which represents a majestic composition of immense red rock formations with the glorious Milky Way to the right and the Andromeda Galaxy to the left.

Competition Judge Will Gater said: "For me, this magnificent image is emblematic of everything it takes to be an astrophotographer; the balance between light and dark, the contrasting textures and tones of the earth and the sky and the photographer alone under a starry canopy of impressive scale and beauty. "

His image occupies a prominent place in the exhibition of winning photographs that are inaugurated at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich starting today.

Winners in all other categories, including the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year, will receive an unexpected gain of £ 1,500 ($ 1,900).

The finalists receive prizes of £ 500 ($ 650) and there are prizes of £ 250 ($ 320) for highly recommended entries.