Space

Astronomy Photographer of the Year shortlist delivers extraordinary perspectives

Astronomy Photographer of the ...
Holding Due North
Holding Due North
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Holding Due North
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Holding Due North
Thunderstorm under milky way
2/26
Thunderstorm under milky way
ISS Sunspots
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ISS Sunspots
The Hidden Galaxy
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The Hidden Galaxy
Expedition to Infinity 
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Expedition to Infinity 
Mosaic of the Great Orion & Running Man Nebula
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Mosaic of the Great Orion & Running Man Nebula
Guarding the galaxy
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Guarding the galaxy
Guardian of Tre Cime
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Guardian of Tre Cime
Aurorascape
9/26
Aurorascape
Color-Full Moon
10/26
Color-Full Moon
AR 2665 and Quiescent Prominence
11/26
AR 2665 and Quiescent Prominence
Rigel and the Witch Head Nebula
12/26
Rigel and the Witch Head Nebula
The Aurora Borealis is caused by the Earth's magnetic field interacting with the solar winds
13/26
The Aurora Borealis is caused by the Earth's magnetic field interacting with the solar winds
NGC 6726 and NGC 6727
14/26
NGC 6726 and NGC 6727
Earth Shine
15/26
Earth Shine
Kynance cove by night
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Kynance cove by night
Daytime Moon
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Daytime Moon
The Eagle Nebula
18/26
The Eagle Nebula
The Keeper of the Light
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The Keeper of the Light
Cave Man
20/26
Cave Man
Andromeda Galaxy
21/26
Andromeda Galaxy
Empyreal
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Empyreal
Cable Bay
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Cable Bay
Milky Way shining over Atashkooh
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Milky Way shining over Atashkooh
Ice Castle
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Ice Castle
Holy Light II
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Holy Light II
View gallery - 26 images

Running since 2009, the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year is one of the world's most exciting astrophotography competitions with a grand prize of £10,000 (US$13,000). Ahead of the winners announced in October the shortlisted photographs have just been revealed delivering a spectacularly mind-bending array of images.

The expansive competition annually gathers thousands of entries every year, spread across eight main categories. The categories span images of the Sun and the Moon, to images of deep space objects such as Nebulae and Galaxies. A Skyscapes category captures more earthly perspectives of the cosmos, and another category focuses specifically on photographs of Aurorae.

Earth Shine
Earth Shine

While professional photographers are allowed to enter the competition, certain rules do make it more approachable for amateur enthusiasts. Rules disallow images previously submitted to news agencies or media outlets, and images using data from professional research observatories cannot be entered.

One of the more spectacular shortlisted entries came from photographer Jake Mosher who captured a perfectly framed time-lapse shot in Montana's northern Rocky Mountains (see lead image at top of page). "I noticed this tree a couple of years earlier and told myself that I had to go back for one of these shoots," explains Mosher on the genesis of the photograph. "It took several test frames of long exposures to make sure that I had Polaris in the right place, but eventually things lined up the way I had imagined."

ISS Sunspots
ISS Sunspots

Another extraordinary shortlisted image came from Dani Caxete, a photographer based in Madrid, Spain. Using a space calendar called CalSky, Caxete tracked the exact moment in time the International Space Station would transit the sun, in between two massive sunspots. Caxete had less than a second to capture the photograph and managed to snap a stunning celestial moment in time.

Thunderstorm under milky way
Thunderstorm under milky way

Stunning timing seems to be a hallmark of many shortlisted entries in the 2018 competition and Tianyuan Xiao's remarkable photograph is no exception. This image, a composite of two separate snaps, shows a thunderstorm illuminating the Florida sky underneath the gigantic shadow of the Milky Way.

The winners of the competition will be revealed in late October, but take a trip through our gallery for a closer look at more dazzling shortlisted entries.

Source: Royal Museums Greenwich

View gallery - 26 images
2 comments
Dziks
Jaw dropping pics!
bwana4swahili
Should be a limit on Milky Way and Aurora pix (easy pickings)! Where are the true astrophotographs? Where is the challenge!?