Greenwich presents space photography show

Many of the entries into the annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year are on display at the Royal Observation Greenwich.

Keen photographers enjoying London getaways may be interested in getting a close-up look at some amazing images of the night sky at the exhibition, which is open until February 17th.

One of the highlights of the show is the Deep Space category winning photo called M51 – The Whirlpool Galaxy.

Captured by Martin Pugh, the image shows a spiral galaxy and a small companion galaxy that, according to the exhibition's website, "is being torn apart by the gravity of its giant neighbour".

Will Gater, a judge for the 2012 competition, said: "This is arguably one of the finest images of M51 ever taken by an amateur astronomer. It's not just the detail in the spiral arms of the galaxy that's remarkable – look closely and you'll see many, very distant, galaxies in the background too."

It is the fourth year the event has been held and entry is free. The exhibition also includes a number of videos containing information on how each picture was achieved and the technology used to capture the image.

The London borough of Greenwich offers a great day out for visitors staying in the capital and there are a number of leading attractions within working distance of the DLR Station Cutty Sark, tourists can enjoy the world famous Cutty Sark tea clipper, the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory and Planetarium.

The Observatory is the home of the Greenwich Meridian Line, the centre of world time, and visitors can even cross the line used to set all international time zones. The popular museum also displays some of the country's most important marine timekeepers as well as a number of early clocks that were used to establish the Greenwich standard for time.

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