INFINITY AND BEYOND: Amateur astronomer Steve Loughran, pictured left, captured this stunning image of Orion’s Sword – parts of the constellation of stars known as Orion – from the back garden of his Cambourne home in October.

The 44-year-old father of one took a couple of years to perfect this image taken with his telescopic camera – each shot can take days (or even years) to produce.

He has also taken pictures of the Andromeda Galaxy and the Carine Nebula.

Mr Loughran, who has his own website, said: “The Orion’s Sword image from October 5 is my personal favourite image by a long way! Most of the images on my site are taken over one night, and processed over the next day (or the day after). The Orion’s Sword one took several days, spread out over a couple of years, but as individual projects. It was just fortunate that all the images were in the same area of sky, and they worked so well together.”

■ The picture of the moon, top left, was taken on April 5 last year by Mr Loughran. On his website, he wrote: “Taken as the sun went down, but the skies were still too light for anything other than alignment and imaging the moon.”

INFORMATION: To view more of Mr Loughran’s images go to www.steves-astro.com.