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!

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!