Photo contest winners capture the stunning colors and light of the earth and sky

The winners of the 2015 International Earth & Sky Photo Contest.

You’re going to want to look these photographers up on Instagram.

The winners of the 6th International Earth and Sky Photo Contest were announced on June 16, and the photos that received the top spots in the two categories of “Beauty of the Night Sky’’ and “Against the Lights’’ (shown above) will give you a whole new appreciation for the vastness of the sky.

The contest was put on in collaboration between The World at Night, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, and Astronomers Without Borders. It was founded in 2008 as a regional program, but it expanded to accept entries from around the world in 2009. This year, about 1,000 photos were sent in from 54 countries.

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The focus of the contest is on preserving the night sky in association with supporting efforts to control light pollution. Entries had to be taken during 2014-2015 and had to show both the earth and the sky.

The winning photos were selected because they were “most effective in impressing public on both how important and delicate the starry sky is as an affecting part of our nature, and also how bad the problem of light pollution has become,’’ according to the contest page.

There were 70 honorable mentions, which can be seen with the winning photos in the contest’s video.

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