Stunning Photo Alert! Winners Announced for “Astronomy Photographer of the Year” Competition

The winners of the 2014 “Astronomy Photographer of the Year” competition have been announced at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich England, and British photographer James Woodend’s gorgeous image of the aurora dancing across the Icelandic night sky was named the overall winner. This is the sixth year for the competition, which is run by the ROG and the Sky at Night Magazine.

“Every year the competition becomes more and more challenging to judge and we’re always astounded by the skill of the photographers,” said Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a presenter on The Sky at Night and one of the judges for the competition. “The Deep Space category, where the entrants have been able to capture such amazing details of objects light-years away and are almost on par with images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, never fails to impress.”

See more gorgeous images and a list of the winners in the various categories below:

Earth and Space

James Woodend (UK) with Aurora over a Glacier Lagoon (Winner and Overall Winner)
Matt James (Australia) with Wind Farm Star Trails (Runner-up)
Patrick Cullis (USA) with Moon Balloon (Highly Commended)
Catalin Beldea (Romania) with Totality from Above the Clouds (Highly Commended)
O Chul Kwon (South Korea) with Venus-Lunar Occultation (Highly Commended)

Horsehead Nebula (IC 434). Credit and copyright: Bill Snyder, USA.
Horsehead Nebula (IC 434). Credit and copyright: Bill Snyder, USA.

Deep Space

Bill Snyder (USA) with Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) (Winner)
David Fitz-Henry (Australia) with The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) (Runner-Up)
J.P Metsävainio (Finland) with Veil Nebula Detail (IC 1340) (Highly Commended)
Rogelio Bernal Andreo (USA) with California vs Pleiades (Highly Commended)
Marco Lorenzi (China) with At the Feet of Orion (NGC 1999) – Full Field (Highly Commended)

Stunning closeup of our Sun, entitled 'Ripples in a Pond.' Credit and copyright: Alexandra Hart, UK
Stunning closeup of our Sun, entitled ‘Ripples in a Pond.’ Credit and copyright: Alexandra Hart, UK

Our Solar System

Alexandra Hart (UK) with Ripples in a Pond (Winner)
George Tarsoudis (Greece) with Best of the Craters (Runner-Up)
Alexandra Hart (UK) with Solar Nexus (Highly Commended)
Stephen Ramsden (USA) with Calcium K Eruption (Highly Commended)
Tunç Tezel (Turkey) with Diamond and Rubies (Highly Commended)

The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434). Credit and copyright: Shishir and Shashank Dholakia, USA, Aged 15.
The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434). Credit and copyright: Shishir and Shashank Dholakia, USA, Aged 15.

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Shishir & Shashank Dholakia (USA, aged 15) with The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) (Winner)
Emmett Sparling (Canada, aged 15) with New Year over Cypress Mountain (Runner-up)
Olivia Williamson (UK, aged 10) with The Martian Territory (Highly Commended)
Shishir & Shashank Dholakia (USA, aged 15) with The Heart Nebula (IC 1805) (Highly Commended)
Emily Jeremy (UK, aged 12) with Moon Behind the Trees (Highly Commended)

Hybrid Solar Eclipse. Credit and copyright: Eugen Kamenew, Germany
Hybrid Solar Eclipse. Credit and copyright: Eugen Kamenew, Germany

Special Prize: People and Space

Eugen Kamenew (Germany) with Hybrid Solar Eclipse 2 (Winner)
Julie Fletcher (Australia) with Lost Souls (Runner-up)

Coastal Stairways. Credit and copyright: Chris Murphy, New Zealand
Coastal Stairways. Credit and copyright: Chris Murphy, New Zealand

Special Prize: Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer

Chris Murphy (New Zealand) with Coastal Stairways (Winner)

NGC 3718 via a robotic scope, Credit and copyright: Mark Hanson, USA
NGC 3718 via a robotic scope, Credit and copyright: Mark Hanson, USA

Robotic Scope Image of the Year

Mark Hanson (USA) with NGC 3718 (Winner)

For all the winners see the ROG website, and for other photos not shown here, you can see more at the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Flickr site . If you are in the UK, you can see an exhibition of the winning photos as the Astronomy Centre, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, from now until February 22, 2015.

Find more info at the ROG website, where you can also find info about the competition for next year — start planning ahead!

And the Winners Are … Amazing ‘Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013’ Photos Revealed

Feast your eyes!! Every year of the “Astronomy Photographer of the Year” competition provides incredible images of our night sky — whether they are striking pictures of vast galaxies millions of light years away, or dramatic images of the night sky taken much closer to home — and this year is no different. The awards were just announced at a special presentation at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England for this fifth year of the competition, which is run by the Observatory in association with Sky at Night Magazine.

Above is the overall winner, from Mark Gee, which was the winner of the “Earth and Space” category, a gorgeous view of the Milky Way taken from Cape Palliser on the North Island of New Zealand.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 has four main categories: Earth and Space, Our Solar System, Deep Space, and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year. There are also three special prizes: People and Space, Best Newcomer (with the prize newly named for Sir Patrick Moore), and the Robotic Scope category, for images taken by a computer-controlled telescope accessed over the internet.
All the winning images here are linked to the originals posted in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Flickr stream, so feel free to click on the images to see larger versions on Flickr.

Special congrats to Adam Block of the Mount Lemmon Sky Center in Arizona for winning the “Deep Sky” category. Adam is a “regular” on Universe Today, as we frequently feature his beautiful images in the astrophotos we share.

Here are the rest of the winners!

The winner for the Deep Space category in Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 goes to Adam Block: Celestial Impasto. Credit and copyright: Adam Block/Mt. Lemmon Sky Center.
The winner for the Deep Space category in Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 goes to Adam Block: Celestial Impasto. Credit and copyright: Adam Block/Mt. Lemmon Sky Center.
The winner for the ‘Our Solar System’ category in Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 is Man-To Hui: ‘Corona Composite of 2012: Australian Totality’. Credit and copyright: Man-To Hui.
The winner for the ‘Our Solar System’ category in Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 is Man-To Hui: ‘Corona Composite of 2012: Australian Totality’. Credit and copyright: Man-To Hui.
The winner for the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 is Jacob Marchio: The Milky Way Galaxy. Credit and copyright: Jacob Marchio.
The winner for the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 is Jacob Marchio: The Milky Way Galaxy. Credit and copyright: Jacob Marchio.
The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 goes to Sam Christopher Cornwell  for his ‘Venus Transit, Foxhunter’s Grave, Welsh Highlands’. Credit and copyright: Sam Christopher Cornwell.
The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 goes to Sam Christopher Cornwell for his ‘Venus Transit, Foxhunter’s Grave, Welsh Highlands’. Credit and copyright: Sam Christopher Cornwell.
Winner of the best Robotic Scope Image for Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 is László Francsics: The Trapezium Cluster & Surrounding Nebulae. Credit and copyright: László Francsics
Winner of the best Robotic Scope Image for Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 is László Francsics: The Trapezium Cluster & Surrounding Nebulae. Credit and copyright: László Francsics
The winner for the People and Space Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 is Mark Gee: ‘Moon Silhouettes.’ Credit and copyright: Mark Gee.
The winner for the People and Space Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 is Mark Gee: ‘Moon Silhouettes.’ Credit and copyright: Mark Gee.

If you are impressed — or inspired — by these images, look to join in the competition for next year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition! We’ll provide info on how to submit your photos when it becomes available (usually in January every year).

Astronomy Photographer of the Year Competition Now Open for 2013

It’s back! The 2013 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is now open and accepting submissions. This is the fifth year of the competition, which is is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in association with Sky at Night Magazine. Every year it produces some of the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos, whether they are striking pictures of vast galaxies millions of light years away, or dramatic images of the night sky taken much closer to home.

“Every year brings something new to see in the sky and the arrival in March of the predicted Comet C/2011 PANSTARRS will hopefully inspire some memorable pictures in this year’s competition,” said Dr. Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the ROG and judge in the competition. “It will be great to see even more entries from talented young photographers and newcomers to astrophotography who prove year after year that all you need to do is pick up a camera.”

Entries to the competition must be submitted by June 13, 2013. There are some great prizes, too. The overall winner will receive £1,500. Category winners will receive £500. There are also prizes for runners-up (£250) and highly commended (£125) entries. The Special Prize winners will receive £350, with an £125 prize for the People and Space Special Prize runner-up. All of the winning entries will receive a one year subscription to Sky at Night Magazine.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 has four main categories:

Earth and Space – Photographs that include landscape, people and other earth-related things alongside an astronomical subject ranging from the stars, the Moon or near-Earth phenomena such as the aurora.

Our Solar System – Imagery which captures the Sun and its family of planets, moons, asteroids and comets.

Deep Space – Pictures that capture anything beyond the Solar System, including stars, nebulae and galaxies.

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year – Pictures taken by budding astronomers under the age of 16 years old.

There are also three special prizes: People and Space recognizes the best photo featuring people in the shot; Best Newcomer is awarded to the best photo by an amateur astrophotographer who has taken up the hobby in the last year and who has not entered an image into the competition before; and Robotic Scope, is awarded for the best photo taken using one of the increasing number of computer-controlled telescopes at prime observing sites around the world which can be accessed over the internet by members of the public.

The winning images will be showcased in the annual free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich from September 19, 2013 to February 23, 2014.

Find more info and enter online by visiting www.rmg.co.uk/astrophoto . Each entrant may submit up to five images to the competition.

To view the entries submitted so far, visit www.flickr.com/groups/astrophoto

So get out there with your camera! And good luck!

The Universe Shines for Astronomy Photographer of the Year Winners

The overall winner in the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, M51 by Martin Pugh.

Want to see some absolutely gorgeous images of our Universe, all taken by amateur astrophotographers? Look no farther than the winners of the 4th annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, held by the Royal Observatory Greenwich and Sky at Night Magazine. The winners were announced last night at the Royal Observatory, with a record number of entries received in 2012 from photographers from around the world.

“Many of the pictures have been taken with equipment that was out of the range of the amateur many years ago,” said Sir Patrick Moore, from the BBC’s Sky at Night, who is a judge in the competition. “I also like the choice of subjects: photographing people and the night skies is very difficult. The entrants have done very well indeed.”

The overall winner was from Australian Martin Pugh with his beautiful and crisp shot of M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy.

“The photographer has made the most of exceptionally good atmospheric conditions to capture an astonishing range of detail in his image of this iconic galaxy,” said Dr. Marek Kukula, the Royal Observatory Public Astronomer and a judge in the competition. “The beautiful spiral structure, dark lanes of dust, and the way the pink clouds of hydrogen really stand out – it’s a remarkable achievement by an amateur astronomer; one of the best images of M51 that I’ve seen.”

Here are more of the winning shots (and you can click on any of these images for the larger versions on Flickr or the ROG site):

The “People and Space” winner was Laurent Laveder from France, with “Facing Venus-Jupiter Close Conjunction.”

The “Our Solar System” category winner was Transit of Venus 2012 in Hydrogen-Alpha, by Chris Warren of the UK.

One of the year’s biggest astronomical events, the last transit of Venus for 105 years, was featured in numerous entries to the 2012 competition. The Our Solar System category was won by Chris Warren, for his fleeting image of the transit taken through a thin patch of cloud at Blackheath in London. F

Earth and Space category winner, “Orion, Taurus and the Pleiades” by Masahiro Miyasaka from Japan.

The winner of the Earth and Space category was Japan’s Masahiro Miyasaka for his image of Orion, Taurus and the Pleiades forming a dramatic backdrop above an eerie frozen landscape in Nagano.

“Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year” category winner was Jacob von Chorus from Canada

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year accolade was won by 15 year old Jacob von Chorus from Canada, who impressed the judges with his beautiful shot of the Pleiades, showing many of the hot young stars which make up the cluster and the swirling wisps of blue-hued gas.

See more images of the winning and runner-up “Highly Commended” for each category at the ROG’s website.

See here for information about how you can participate in next year’s competition. Congrats to this year’s winners!

Who Will Be the Next Astronomy Photographer of the Year?

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Attention all astrophotographers (as well as those of us who just enjoy looking at great astronomy images!): The Royal Observatory Greenwich is launching its annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, and is searching for the most beautiful, dramatic and spectacular images of the cosmos. Anyone from around the world can enter and the winning images will be showcased at the Royal Observatory.

This is the 4th year of this competition, which began as part of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009.

“Astronomy is becoming increasingly popular with the public which is reflected in the big rise in entries we saw in 2011,” said Dr. Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the ROG. “Every year the competition has brought new surprises, I love the fact that we receive entries from people all around the world and from complete beginners as well as seasoned experts. All the judges are excited about what we’re going to see this time around.”

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012 has four main categories:

Earth and Space – Photographs that include landscape, people and other earth-related things alongside an astronomical subject ranging from the stars, the Moon or near-Earth phenomena such as the aurora.

Jupiter with Io and Ganymede, September 2010 © Damian Peach, winner of the 2011 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

Our Solar System – Imagery which captures the Sun and its family of planets, moons, asteroids and comets.

Deep Space – Pictures that capture anything beyond the Solar System, including stars, nebulae and galaxies.

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year – Pictures taken by budding astronomers under the age of 16 years old.

Lunar Eclipse and Occultation © Jathin Premjith, winner of 2011 Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year

There are also three special prizes:

People and Space recognizes the best photo featuring people in the shot;

Best Newcomer is awarded to the best photo by an amateur astrophotographer who has taken up the hobby in the last year and who has not entered an image into the competition before;

Robotic Scope, which was a new prize introduced in 2011, is awarded for the best photo taken using one of the increasing number of computer-controlled telescopes at prime observing sites around the world which can be accessed over the internet by members of the public.

Entries to the competition must be submitted by midday on June 29, 2012, with the winners announced on September 20, 2012. The winning photos will be displayed at the ROG from September 21, 2012 to February 2013.

The overall winner will receive £1,500. Category winners will receive £500. There are also prizes for runners-up (£250) and highly commended (£125) entries. The Special Prize winners will receive £350, with an £125 prize for the People and Space Special Prize runner-up. All of the winning entries will receive a one year subscription to Sky at Night Magazine, which is also a sponsor of the competition.

The competition is powered by the photo-sharing website Flickr. To view the entries online please visit www.flickr.com/groups/astrophoto

Photographers can enter online by visiting www.rmg.co.uk/astrophoto and each entrant may submit up to five images to the competition.

Good luck, and we hope to be posting YOUR winning image here on Universe Today!!

And the Winner is…! Astronomy Photographer of the Year Announced

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Stunning photos alert! Here are some absolutely gorgeous, award-winning photos from amateur astronomers and photographers. Over 700 entries were in the competition for the 2011 Astronomy Photographer of the Year title, and the winners were announced last night at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. This is the third year for the competition, which is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich and Sky at Night Magazine.

Damian Peach from the UK won the overall title with this detailed image of Jupiter and several of its Moons.

“There were so many beautiful images this year but this one really stood out for me,” said Dr. Marek Kukula, Royal Observatory Public Astronomer. “It looks like a Hubble picture. The detail in Jupiter’s clouds and storms is incredible, and the photographer has also managed to capture detail on two of the planet’s moons which is remarkable for an image taken from the ground. An amazing photo.”

And here are the winning images from the other categories:

Vela Supernova Remnant © Marco Lorenzi

Deep Space

Marco Lorenzi (Italy) with Vela Supernova Remnant (Winner)
Edward Henry (USA) with Leo Triplet (Runner-up)
Michael Sidonio (Australia) with Fighting Dragons of Ara (NGC 6188 and 6164) (Highly Commended)
Rogelio Bernal Andreo (USA) with Orion, Head to Toe (Highly Commended)
Steve Crouch (Australia) with Planetary Nebula Shapley 1 (Highly Commended)

Leo Triplet © Edward Henry
Fighting Dragons of Ara (NGC 6188 and 6164) © Michael Sidonio
Galactic Paradise © Tunç Tezel

Earth and Space

Tunç Tezel (Turkey) with Galactic Paradise (Winner)
Ole C. Salomonsen (Norway) with Divine Presence (Runner-up)
Örvar Atli Þorgeirsson (Iceland) with Volcanic Aurora (Highly Commended)
Andrew Steele (UK) with Red Moon rising over Oxford (Highly Commended)
Mike Kempsey – DT6 Photographic (UK) with Meteor at Midnight, Glastonbury Tor (Highly Commended)

ISS and Endeavour Crossing the Sun © Dani Caxete

Our Solar System

Damian Peach (UK) with Jupiter with Io and Ganymede, September 2010 (Winner and overall competition winner) And you can see Damian Peach’s video of Jupiter at this link.)
Paul Haese (Australia) with Dragon Storm (Runner-up)
Dani Caxete (Spain) with ISS and Endeavour Crossing the Sun (Highly Commended)
George Tarsoudis (Greece) with Crater Petavius, 8 February 2011 (Highly Commended)
Peter Ward (Australia) with May 7th Hydrogen-Alpha Sun (Highly Commended)

Lunar Eclipse and Occultation © Jathin Premjith

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Jathin Premjith (India, aged 15) with Lunar Eclipse and Occultation (Winner)
Nicole Sullivan (USA, aged 15) with Starry Night Sky (Runner-up)
Peter Pihlmann Pedersen (UK, aged 15) with Crescent Moon (Highly Commended)
Tom Chitson (UK aged 15) with First-Quarter Moon (Highly Commended)
Jessica Caterson (UK aged 15) with Winter’s Moon (Highly Commended)

Starry Night Sky © Nicole Sullivan
Stargazing © Jeffrey Sullivan

Special Prize: People and Space

Jeffrey Sullivan (USA) with Stargazing (Winner)
Jean-Baptiste Feldmann (France) with Hunting Moon (Runner-up)

Special Prize: Best Newcomer

Harley Grady (USA) with Zodiacal Light on the Farm (Winner)

Robotic Scope Image of the Year

Marco Lorenzi (Italy) with Shell Galaxies (NGC474 and NGC467) (Winner)

For all the winners and other photos not shown here, you can see more at the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Flickr site . If you are in the UK, you can see an exhibition of the winning photos as the Astronomy Centre, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, from September 9, 2011 – February 5, 2012

More info at their website: www.nmm.ac.uk/astrophoto, where you can also find info about the competition for next year — start planning ahead!

I was able to attend last year, and the Observatory and the exhibition is not to be missed for anyone interested in space and astronomy!