Light in the Sky by Giorgia Hofer
"It is an excellent and striking composition, set in a fine location and the wintery setting makes this image a powerful statement about light pollution," contest judge David Malin said in a statement. "But light pollution also makes the image!"
Over the Top by Luc Perrot
"With the Milky Way swirling over this fantasy landscape, it is a beautiful reminder that we live in galaxy, and that it is always there, whether we can see it or not," contest judge and National Geographic photographer James Richardson said in a statement. "This image gives us a sense of our home in the universe."
False Dusk and Falls at Oregon Coast by Ben Coffman
(Zodiacal light is visible just after dusk or before dawn, when sunlight reflects off of dust in the solar system plane.)
Reflected Aurora by Alex Conu
"Two great forces are combined in this image: the blazing lights of the town spreading along the coast of the fjord, and the aurora sweeping over the mountains," Richardson said in a statement. "The wide, panorama nature of the photograph sets the stage for this conflict in a beautiful way, and subtly points out that we always need to inspect our ideas of beauty and how we control our environment."