Photography

Spectacular stars in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year shortlist

Spectacular stars in the Astro...
Our Sun. 'Eruption...'
Our Sun. 'Eruption...'
View 33 Images
Our Sun. 'Eruption...'
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Our Sun. 'Eruption...'
Our Sun. 'Bridging the Light Fantastic'. This image shows an active region (AR2741) that was visible on the solar disc in 2019
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Our Sun. 'Bridging the Light Fantastic'. This image shows an active region (AR2741) that was visible on the solar disc in 2019
Our Sun. 'Total Solar Eclipse, Venus and the Red Giant Betelgeuse'. In a very long process, the photographer calibrated, aligned and stacked 96 frames together, revealing the streamers and the faint corona
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Our Sun. 'Total Solar Eclipse, Venus and the Red Giant Betelgeuse'. In a very long process, the photographer calibrated, aligned and stacked 96 frames together, revealing the streamers and the faint corona
Aurorae. 'Hamnøy Lights'. The image is a manual exposure blend consisting of one base image for the sky and foreground plus a total of seven bracketed images to balance the highlights and shadows in the fishing village and water
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Aurorae. 'Hamnøy Lights'. The image is a manual exposure blend consisting of one base image for the sky and foreground plus a total of seven bracketed images to balance the highlights and shadows in the fishing village and water
Aurorae. 'Stokksnes Aurora'. In order to get the shot, the photographer ended up knee-deep in the North Atlantic in -6 degrees Celsius. The challenge was to capture the reflections in the water, on the black sand beach, and also not to over-expose the aurora
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Aurorae. 'Stokksnes Aurora'. In order to get the shot, the photographer ended up knee-deep in the North Atlantic in -6 degrees Celsius. The challenge was to capture the reflections in the water, on the black sand beach, and also not to over-expose the aurora
Aurorae. 'Geysir Aurora'. This shot shows the famous Geysir of Iceland preparing to blow with the aurora behind it
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Aurorae. 'Geysir Aurora'. This shot shows the famous Geysir of Iceland preparing to blow with the aurora behind it
Aurorae. 'Northern Dragon's Eye'
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Aurorae. 'Northern Dragon's Eye'
Skyscapes. 'Cold Night on the Yellowstone'. In mid-March, shortly after the core of our galaxy is visible above the horizon, it rises in the final hours of darkness before dawn
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Skyscapes. 'Cold Night on the Yellowstone'. In mid-March, shortly after the core of our galaxy is visible above the horizon, it rises in the final hours of darkness before dawn
Skyscapes. 'The Cave of the Wild Horses'. Located in the heart of the desert in Southern Utah, the Cave of the Wild Horses, with its copious wildlife, petroglyphs, rock varnish, and framed view of the summer Milky Way in its entrance, makes for a fairy-tale place to take astrophotographs
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Skyscapes. 'The Cave of the Wild Horses'. Located in the heart of the desert in Southern Utah, the Cave of the Wild Horses, with its copious wildlife, petroglyphs, rock varnish, and framed view of the summer Milky Way in its entrance, makes for a fairy-tale place to take astrophotographs
Skyscapes. 'The Red Lake of Stars'.
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Skyscapes. 'The Red Lake of Stars'.
Skyscapes. 'Beyond the Fog'
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Skyscapes. 'Beyond the Fog'
Skyscapes. 'Galactic Portal'. On the photographer’s trip to Australia, he travelled to the coastal town of Kiama, where he captured his first Milky Way image of the year – his first Milky Way image taken from the Southern Hemisphere
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Skyscapes. 'Galactic Portal'. On the photographer’s trip to Australia, he travelled to the coastal town of Kiama, where he captured his first Milky Way image of the year – his first Milky Way image taken from the Southern Hemisphere
Skyscapes. 'Something Old, Something New'. The incredible site of the old Lithgow Blast Furnace has been restored as a heritage icon in the area reflecting on the past history of the beginnings of the iron and steel industries in Australia
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Skyscapes. 'Something Old, Something New'. The incredible site of the old Lithgow Blast Furnace has been restored as a heritage icon in the area reflecting on the past history of the beginnings of the iron and steel industries in Australia
Stars and Nebulae. 'The Magnificent Rho Ophiuchi Complex'. Rho Ophiuchi, the triple star, surrounded by the blue reflection nebula IC 4604 on top-left, the red supergiant star Antares and one of closest globular cluster to the Solar System M4 to the right
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Stars and Nebulae. 'The Magnificent Rho Ophiuchi Complex'. Rho Ophiuchi, the triple star, surrounded by the blue reflection nebula IC 4604 on top-left, the red supergiant star Antares and one of closest globular cluster to the Solar System M4 to the right
Stars and Nebulae. 'The Bat Nebula'. The Veil Nebula, a large gas cloud in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. This image shows just a small fragment of this nebula
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Stars and Nebulae. 'The Bat Nebula'. The Veil Nebula, a large gas cloud in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. This image shows just a small fragment of this nebula
Stars and Nebulae. 'Statue of Liberty Nebula'. The Statue of Liberty Nebula (NGC 3576), ironically a southern hemisphere object. At lower left in the image is NGC 3603 containing the Starburst Cluster.NGC 3576 is located in the Carina arm of the Milky Way at approximately 20,000 light yearsdistant
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Stars and Nebulae. 'Statue of Liberty Nebula'. The Statue of Liberty Nebula (NGC 3576), ironically a southern hemisphere object. At lower left in the image is NGC 3603 containing the Starburst Cluster.
NGC 3576 is located in the Carina arm of the Milky Way at approximately 20,000 light years
distant
Stars and Nebulae. 'Thor's Helmet'. A bicolor narrowband image of a well-known nebula, which is sculpted by a central Wolf-Rayet star
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Stars and Nebulae. 'Thor's Helmet'. A bicolor narrowband image of a well-known nebula, which is sculpted by a central Wolf-Rayet star
Our Moon. 'Crescent Moon'.
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Our Moon. 'Crescent Moon'.
Our Moon. 'Some Moons are Close, and Some are Small and Far Away'. On 12th August, our moon occulted Saturn and its moons. The shadowed limb of the waxing gibbous Moon gradually hid the planet over several minutes
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Our Moon. 'Some Moons are Close, and Some are Small and Far Away'. On 12th August, our moon occulted Saturn and its moons. The shadowed limb of the waxing gibbous Moon gradually hid the planet over several minutes
Our Moon. 'The Moon And the Shard'. After three failed attempts, the photographer finally got to shoot an image of London's iconic Shard skyscraper with a full moon behind it
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Our Moon. 'The Moon And the Shard'. After three failed attempts, the photographer finally got to shoot an image of London's iconic Shard skyscraper with a full moon behind it
Our Moon. 'Big Moon, Little Werewolf'. This charming shot was three years in the making. The photographer struggles to get her dog to sit still for a photo at the best of times
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Our Moon. 'Big Moon, Little Werewolf'. This charming shot was three years in the making. The photographer struggles to get her dog to sit still for a photo at the best of times
'M16'. This entry tries to catch the feel of stargazing through basic optical instrument – a kind ofGalileo's telescope
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'M16'. This entry tries to catch the feel of stargazing through basic optical instrument – a kind of
Galileo's telescope
People and Space. 'Milky Way and Meteor at Porthgwarra'. Porthgwarra is a sheltered fishing cove in the west of Cornwall and the U-shape of the narrow cove is perfect for framing the Milky Way
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People and Space. 'Milky Way and Meteor at Porthgwarra'. Porthgwarra is a sheltered fishing cove in the west of Cornwall and the U-shape of the narrow cove is perfect for framing the Milky Way
People and Space. 'Beautiful Persian Gulf Nights'. The scale of the vista encouraged the photographer to capture a 360 degree panoramic image of the entire sky using 60 15-second exposures
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People and Space. 'Beautiful Persian Gulf Nights'. The scale of the vista encouraged the photographer to capture a 360 degree panoramic image of the entire sky using 60 15-second exposures
People and Space. 'Meeting'. Looking over the city of Füssen in Germany
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People and Space. 'Meeting'. Looking over the city of Füssen in Germany
People and Space. 'Stargazing Giant'. This image is the view of the Milky Way rising above the Moai at Ahu Akivi. Ahu Akivi is a particularly sacred place in Easter Island in the Valparaíso Region of Chile
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People and Space. 'Stargazing Giant'. This image is the view of the Milky Way rising above the Moai at Ahu Akivi. Ahu Akivi is a particularly sacred place in Easter Island in the Valparaíso Region of Chile
Best Newcomer. 'Solar System through my Telescope'. This image is a composition that the photographer made using their best images of the solar system. The individual images were taken between July 2019 and February 2020
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Best Newcomer. 'Solar System through my Telescope'. This image is a composition that the photographer made using their best images of the solar system. The individual images were taken between July 2019 and February 2020
Best Newcomer. 'Kynance Cove under the Milky Way'. The foreground was taken at dusk and the sky is a stack of 4 images of 25 seconds taken later when the Milky Way appeared, the sky and foreground blended together in post processing.
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Best Newcomer. 'Kynance Cove under the Milky Way'. The foreground was taken at dusk and the sky is a stack of 4 images of 25 seconds taken later when the Milky Way appeared, the sky and foreground blended together in post processing.
Galaxies. 'NGC 2442 in Volans'
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Galaxies. 'NGC 2442 in Volans'
Galaxies. 'NGC 253 - Sculptor Galaxy'. This image depicts an object that many will recognise in the southern hemisphere skies – NGC 253, The Sculptor Galaxy. It is an intermediate galaxy located within the constellation Sculptor and is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible to us
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Galaxies. 'NGC 253 - Sculptor Galaxy'. This image depicts an object that many will recognise in the southern hemisphere skies – NGC 253, The Sculptor Galaxy. It is an intermediate galaxy located within the constellation Sculptor and is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible to us
Galaxies. 'M33 The Triangulum Galaxy'. This sharp image shows off M33's blue star clusters and pinkish star forming regions along the galaxy's loosely wound spiral arms. In order to depict these star forming regions, the photographer has taken a total of 26.5 hours exposure time
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Galaxies. 'M33 The Triangulum Galaxy'. This sharp image shows off M33's blue star clusters and pinkish star forming regions along the galaxy's loosely wound spiral arms. In order to depict these star forming regions, the photographer has taken a total of 26.5 hours exposure time
Young Astronomy Photographer. 'Startrails in Namib Desert'. The image was taken while the photographer was staying in Sossus Dune Lodge, in the Namib Naukluft Park in Namibia
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Young Astronomy Photographer. 'Startrails in Namib Desert'. The image was taken while the photographer was staying in Sossus Dune Lodge, in the Namib Naukluft Park in Namibia
Young Astronomy Photographer. 'Clouds Across the Moon'.
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Young Astronomy Photographer. 'Clouds Across the Moon'.
View gallery - 33 images

The Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year is one of the world’s top astrophotography competitions, and the 2020 shortlist offers a sublime selection of this year’s best entries, from some mind-bending close-ups of the sun’s surface to a series of magnificent Milky Way skyscapes.

The contest is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, an iconic scientific institution founded nearly 400 years ago. There are eight key categories in the contest, spanning a broad spectrum of astrophotography styles, from skyscapes incorporating land perspectives, to more focused categories looking at galaxies and aurorae.

Aurorae. 'Stokksnes Aurora'. In order to get the shot, the photographer ended up knee-deep in the North Atlantic in -6 degrees Celsius. The challenge was to capture the reflections in the water, on the black sand beach, and also not to over-expose the aurora
Aurorae. 'Stokksnes Aurora'. In order to get the shot, the photographer ended up knee-deep in the North Atlantic in -6 degrees Celsius. The challenge was to capture the reflections in the water, on the black sand beach, and also not to over-expose the aurora

As with previous years, the contest illustrates the incredible skill and determination these photographers display to create these images. UK photographer Ben Bush’s shot of an aurora over Iceland’s famous Vestrahorn is a great example. To get the perfect shot of the aurora reflecting over the water, Bush waded out into the freezing North Atlantic ocean in the middle of night.

Our Moon. 'The Moon And the Shard'. After three failed attempts, the photographer finally got to shoot an image of London's iconic Shard skyscraper with a full moon behind it
Our Moon. 'The Moon And the Shard'. After three failed attempts, the photographer finally got to shoot an image of London's iconic Shard skyscraper with a full moon behind it

Other shortlisted images highlight the patience and timing needed to compose the ideal frame. Matthew Brown’s shot of the Moon passing behind London’s Shard skyscraper is an example of a fleeting moment in time that took the photographer days to catch.

Our Moon. 'Big Moon, Little Werewolf'. This charming shot was three years in the making. The photographer struggles to get her dog to sit still for a photo at the best of times
Our Moon. 'Big Moon, Little Werewolf'. This charming shot was three years in the making. The photographer struggles to get her dog to sit still for a photo at the best of times

The winning photographs will be revealed later in the year, sharing £10,000 in prize money.

Take a look through our gallery at more shortlisted images from this year’s contest.

Source: RMG

View gallery - 33 images
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