Some pictures are worth 1,000 words, but others are so out of this world that they will leave you speechless.
The shortlist of finalists for the 2016 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition has been announced, and there are some stunningly beautiful images taken by photographers around the world.
The shortlist of almost 30 has been selected from over 4,500 entries to the competition from 80 countries, with photographer competing for the grand prize of 10,000 GBP. Winners in other categories, including 'Skyscapes', 'Aurorae', 'People and Space', 'Our Sun', 'Our Moon', 'Planets, Comets and Asteroids', 'Stars and Nebulae', 'Galaxies', and 'Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year' will each receive 1,500 GBP. Other smaller cash awards will be granted to runners-up.
Winners will be announced September 15, and the images will be put on display starting September 17 at the UK's Royal Observatory's Astronomy Centre. Here's a sneak peek at this year's shortlist.
Jan R. Olsen
Norwegian photographer Jan R. Olsen thought that the aurora resembled a bird hovering over the water.
American photographer Brad Goldpaint caught this image of the Perseid meteor shower over Mount Shasta in August, 2015.
M8: Lagoon Nebula
Hungarian photographer Ivan Eder took this picture of the Lagoon Nebula, 5,000 light years from Earth.
Northern Lights over Jokulsarlon, Iceland
British photographer Giles Rocholl caught this image of the aurora, with a couple admiring the view.
German photographer Nicholas Roemmelt took advantage of the gorgeous scenery here on earth to get this shot of the Milky Way soaring above the Painted Hills of Oregon.
American photographer Bob Franke took this picture of Pickering's Triangle, a supernova remnant located in the Veil Nebula.
Seven Magic Points
Norwegian photographer Rune Engebø captured the rippling aurora mirroring the sculpture Seven Magic Points in Brattebergan, Norway.
The Diamond Ring
British photographer Melanie Thorne took this image in Indonesia during a total solar eclipse.
Australian photographer Ivan Slade captured this image of Venus, Mercury, and the Milky Way just before sunrise on Turrimeta Beach, Australia.