Martin Pugh's striking image of the Horsehead Nebula took home the grand prize in the 2009 Royal Observatory Greenwich's Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Check out more winners of space porn's top honors.

Judges for the Royal Observatory Greenwich combed through over 500 images of moons, planets, nebula, and Earth's own night sky, and chose twenty top photos in each of four categories: Deep Space, Earth and Space, Our Solar System, and Young Photographers — for astronomy buffs 16 and under. Judges were especially wowed by Pugh's image of the oft-photographed Horsehead Nebula. Said Chris Lintott, competition judge and co-presenter of the BBC's The Sky at Night:

I think this is the perfect deep-sky image; perfectly composed, it grabs your attention straight away. When you look closer, the detail is absolutely stunning, whether it's the fine structure in the curtain behind the horse or the subtle details on the edge of the dark nebula itself.

The winning photos will be on display at the Royal Observatory until January 10th, 2010.

[Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2009]

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Horsehead Nebula by Martin Pugh — Astronomy Photograph of the Year, Winner Deep Space

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Star Trails, Blue Mountains by Ted Dobosz — Winner Earth and Space

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Blue Sky Moon by Michael O'Connell — Winner Our Solar System

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Occultation of Venus by Paul Smith, aged 14 — Winner Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Galaxies M81 and M82 by Edward Henry — Runner Up Deep Space

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Venus, Jupiter and Moon trails over the Nepean River by Vincent Miu — Runner Up Earth and Space

The Best Space Porn of the Year

3.1 Day-old Moon by Nick Smith — Runner Up Our Solar System

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

No Dogs on Beach by Sarah Gilligan, aged 11 — Runner Up Young Photographer of the Year

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Galactic Dust in Corona Australis by Martin Pugh — Highly Commended Deep Space

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Centaurus-A: Ultra-Deep Field by Michael Sidonio — Highly Commended Deep Space

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Eta Carina Nebula by Thomas Davis — Highly Commended Deep Space

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Milky Way by Nik Szymanek — Highly Commended Earth and Space

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Bow of Orion by Karl Johnston — Highly Commended Earth and Space

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Death Valley Star Trails by Nikhil Shahi — Highly Commended Earth and Space

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Clavius-Moretus Mosaic by Nick Smith — Highly Commended Our Solar System

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Comet Holmes by Nick Howes — Highly Commended Our Solar System

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Venus by Paul Smith, aged 14 — Highly Commended Young Photographer of the Year

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Full Moon by Jathin Premjith, aged 13 — Highly Commended Young Photographer of the Year

The Best Space Porn of the YearS

Mercury and the crescent moon by Ben Fernando, aged 15 — Highly Commended Young Photographer of the Year