These 10 photos were taken as a part of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest. The contest ran from February 27 to April 7th and included 9 different categories; Aurorae; Skyscapes; People and Space; Our Sun; Our Moon; Planets, Comets, and Asteroids; Stars and Nebulae; Galaxies; and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year.
Winners will get £10,000 and will have their photos in an exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich beginning Sept. 16.
“The Milky Way rises ominously above a small radio telescope from a large array at Miyun Station, National Astronomical Observatory of China, in the suburbs of Beijing. The image depicts the ever-growing light pollution we now experience, which together with electromagnetic noise has turned many optical and radio observatories near cities both blind and deaf – a battle that inspired the photographer’s title of the shot. The image used a light pollution filter (iOptron L-Pro) and multiple frame stacking to get the most of the Milky Way out of the city light.”
“A lone stargazer sits atop the peak of Castell-Y-Gwynt (Castle of the Winds) on Glyder Fach Mountain in Snowdonia, North Wales, beneath a starry night sky during freezing temperatures in mid-Winter. The lunar-like landscape was formed through a process called freeze-thaw weathering: water seeps into cracks in the rock, freezing and expanding as ice forms, eventually cracking the rock over hundreds and thousands of years. Despite the full cloud and fog on the night the photographer set up his one-man tent in the snow and began the long wait of 15 hours of darkness in -10 degrees Celsius temperatures but the sky clearing for a mere 20 minutes, was all the time needed to capture this shot.”
“The radiant, concentric star trails seemingly spinning over a lone stargazer against the glowing purples and pinks of the night sky during the hour when the clocks ‘spring forward’ to begin British Summer Time. With time so intrinsically linked to celestial activity, a one-hour star trail seemed the perfect metaphor. Through the use of long exposures, the trails depict the rotation of the Earth on its axis centering on the north celestial pole, the sky moving anti-clockwise around this point.”
“The reflection in the wave ripples of Skagsanden beach mirrors the brilliant green whirls of the Aurora Borealis in the night sky overhead. To obtain the effect of the shiny surface, the photographer had to stand in the wave zone of the incoming flood, and only when the water receded very low did the opportunity to capture the beautiful scene occur.”
“Lying in the constellation of Orion, at a distance of 1467 light years from our planet is the emission and reflection nebula NGC 2023. Most often photographed next to the famous Horsehead Nebula, the photographer has instead given NGC 2023 the spotlight in order to try and bring out all of the wonderful detail seen across its diameter of 4 light years, making it one of the largest reflection nebulae ever discovered. Partner Steve Mazlin is the lead processor on this one for SSRO.”
“The purples and greens of the Northern Lights radiate over the coal mining city of Svea, in the archipelago of Svalbard. The earthy landscape below the glittering sky is illuminated by the strong lights of industry at the pier of Svea.”
“During an astrophotography tour of the Murmansk region with Stas Korotkiy, an amateur astronomer and popularizer of astronomy in Russia, the turquoise of the Aurora Borealis swirls above the snow covered trees. Illuminated by street lamps, the trees glow a vivid pink forming a contrasting frame for nature’s greatest lightshow.”
“The aurora activity forecast was low for this evening, so the photographer remained in Tromsø rather than driving to the fjord. The unwitting photographer captured Nature’s answer to a stunning firework display as the Northern Lights dance above a rainbow cast in the waters of the harbor in Trømso made for a spectacular display, but did not realize what he had shot until six months later when reviewing his images.”
“The 7 percent waxing crescent moon setting in the evening sky over the Needles Lighthouse at the western tip of the Isle of Wight. Despite the Moon being a thin crescent, the rest of its shape is defined by sunlight reflecting back from the Earth’s surface.”
“The snow-clad mountain in the Eastern Sierras towers over the rusty aspen grove aligned perfectly in front of it, whilst our galaxy the Milky Way glistens above.”
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