The Capture the Atlas website has published the winning photos of the 2024 Milky Way Photographer of the Year contest. They feature the best images of the Milky Way.

The Milky Way Photographer of the Year contest is being held for the seventh time. In 2024, 25 works made in 15 countries became its winners. In the images you can see the deserts of Chile, Jordan and Oman, the lost landscapes of Patagonia, Australian wastelands, glaciers, volcanoes, mountains, beaches. And all this against the background of the magnificent band of the Milky Way shining in the sky.

Here are some of the most impressive winning works.

“Lightning Lake”, by Tom Ray. A photo of the Milky Way rising from behind the peak of Mount Cook, the highest point in New Zealand.

“Lightning Lake” Tom Ray

“Atmospheric Fireworks”, by Julien Looten. In this image, you can see the arc of the Milky Way over a medieval castle in France. Multicolored clouds are a phenomenon known as the atmosphere’s own glow. It occurs as a result of chemical reactions occurring at high altitudes.

“Atmospheric Fireworks” Julien Looten

“Mungo Dreamtime,” by John Rutter. This Martian-like landscape is actually located on the shores of Australia’s dried-up Lake Mungo. The oldest human remains in Australia have been found there. The photo allows you to imagine what the first Australians saw when looking at the night sky.

“Mungo Dreamtime” – John Rutter

“Road to Winter Paradise”, by Andrea Curzi. The photo was taken at the Passo Giau in the Dolomites.

“Road to Winter Paradise” – Andrea Curzi

“A Clear Welcome”, by Francesco Dall’Olmo. In this photo, you can see the magnificent band of the Milky Way over the Laguna de los Tres mountain lake in Patagonia.

“A Clear Welcome” – Francesco Dall’Olmo

“The Kingdom of Perun”, by Tervel Kutsev. This picture was taken on the territory of the Bulgarian Pirin mountain range. It was named after the thunder god Perun. In the center of the photo is Mount Vihren, which was considered his throne. Its top, like a crown, is framed by the Milky Way.

The Kingdom of Perun” – Tervel Kutsev

“Desert Bloom”, by Marcin Zajac. Wildflowers bloom in front of a group of volcanoes called the “Three Sisters” in Goblin Valley Park in Utah. It is located far from major urban centers and has one of the darkest skies in the United States. It is not surprising that the Milky Way turns out to be so “juicy” and expressive.

“Desert Bloom” – Marcin Zajac

“Bluff Hut,” by Rachel Roberts. In the photo, you can see the lonely Bluff hut in the New Zealand Southern Alps. This is one of the most inaccessible places on the island, located far from civilization. Therefore, the night sky is especially dark here — and the Milky Way is especially bright.

“Bluff Hut” – Rachel Roberts

The rest of the photos can be viewed on the contest’s website.