The Best of the Astronomy Photography of the Year Competition

Overall competition winner. 'Guiding Light To The Stars' by Mark Gee

Overall competition winner. ‘Guiding Light To The Stars’ by Mark Gee

Star gazing is an undeniable and indefatigable delight. For many, the greatest wonders in the universe are not constrained to earth but rather a look to the skies is much refreshing and rewarding.

In celebration of this wonder, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich launched a recent competition in search for the best photographer of astronomy in 2013.

Whilst some images captured the vast expanse of the universe, others focused on the relationship between humans and the wider universe.

Photographers were invited to submit images for categories including Earth and Space, Deep Space, Our Solar System and Robotic Scope.

Some images portrayswirling, colourful nebulae that see trickles of astronomical debris twist like the streaks across a slab of marble. Others contain dramatic silhouettes of the moon.

The top prize went to Australian Mark Gee. His photograph titled ‘Guiding Light to the Stars’ (pictured above) beat more than a thousand amateur and professional photographers from around the world.

He explained his image,

“The skies of the Southern Hemisphere offer a rich variety of astronomical highlights. The central regions of the Milky Way Galaxy, 26,000 light years away, appear as a tangle of dust and stars in the central part of the image. Two even more distant objects are visible as smudges of light in the upper left of the picture. These are the Magellanic Clouds, two small satellite galaxies in orbit around the Milky Way”.

If you’re a budding star gazer and photographer, read on the to bottom to see the Royal Observatory’s guide to taking astronomy photography.

It’s been more than 170 years since the first ever photograph of the moon was snapped, and these images show that the medium has come a long way since then. Here’s our round up of the very best of the competition-

'Moon Silhouettes' by Mark Gee of Australia who also won the overall competition with another entry.

‘Moon Silhouettes’ by Mark Gee from Australia (who also won the overall competition with another entry)

Dust cloud, by Tom O'Donoghue

Dust cloud, by Tom O’Donoghue

'Snowy Range Perseid Meteor Shower' by US photographer David Kingham

‘Snowy Range Perseid Meteor Shower’ by US photographer David Kingham

'Green Energy' by Norwegian Photographer Frederik Broms

‘Green Energy’ by Norwegian Photographer Frederik Broms

'Ring of Fire' by Jing Hao from China

‘Ring of Fire’ by Chinese photographer Jing Hao

The plane of the Milky Way by Ben Canales

The plane of the Milky Way by Ben Canales

 

Tempted to try some of your own? Click here to see the Royal Observatory’s tips to photographers on how to recreate these stunning images.

Which of the photographs is your favourite? Comment below or click here to join the conversation on the Fawn Review Facebook page!

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