The winners of the 2020 Astronomy Photographer of the Year Awards
Images of the Milky Way, a southern-sky nebula and Andromeda galaxy are among the winners of the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year award.
Run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, more than 5,000 entries from photographers across six continents were entered in the competition.
The overall winner of the annual competition was French photographer Nicolas Lefaudeu, for his image Andromeda Galaxy at Arm’s Length? The image also won him first place in the Galaxies category of the competition, and the £10,000 prize.
To obtain the tilt-shift effect in the image, Lefadau 3D printed a special part to hold the camera at an angle at the focus of the telescope. The blur created by the defocus at the edges of the sensor gives this illusion of closeness to Andromeda.
In a galazy much closer to home, Australian photographers Peter Ward and Logan Nicholson were recognised as place-winners in the Stars & Nebulae and the Young Competition categories, respectively.
Peter Ward's photograph Cosmic Inferno depicts NGC 3576 (a well-known nebula in southern skies) without any stars, revealing just the nebula. Ward made use of Software to map the nebula into a false colour palette, with the intention of making the scene look like a celestial fire-maelstrom and in turn, reflect images taken in Australia during the 2019/2020 bushfire season.
Ward has shared that the intended impact of his image was to convey that nature can act on vast scales and it can act as a sobering warning that our environment needs protection and care.
At just fifteen, Logan Nicholson has won the title of highly commended in the Youth category of the Awards for his photograph The Carina Region, which pictures the Carina constellation, including the Eta Carina Nebula.
To reveal the hydrogen-alpha detail of the constellation in his photograph, Nicholson chose to push the red in his image. Other nebulae that can be spotted in this photograph of this dense region of sky, are the Statue of Liberty Nebula, multiple other dark nebulae and H-alpha which was taken through a filter because it is a very faint nebula.
The award winners of the 2020 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year Awards
Galaxies – Winner
Nicolas Lefaudeux (France), Andromeda Galaxy at Arm's Length?
Galaxies – Runner-up
Mark Hanson (USA), NGC 3628 with 300,000 Light Year Long
Galaxies – Highly Commended
Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mateos (Spain), Attack on the Large Magellanic Cloud
Aurorae – Winner
Nicholas Roemmelt (Germany), The Green Lady
Aurorae – Runner-up
Tom Archer (UK), Lone Tree under a Scandinavian Aurora
Aurorae – Highly Commended
Kristina Makeeva (Russia), Iceland
Our Moon – Winner
Alain Paillou (France), Tycho Crater Region with Colours
Our Moon – Runner-up
Ethan Roberts (UK), HDR Partial Lunar Eclipse with Clouds
Our Moon – Highly Commended
Daniel Koszela (Poland), Moon Base
Our Sun – Winner
Alexandra Hart (UK), Liquid Sunshine
Our Sun – Runner-Up
Filip Ogorzeski (Poland), 145 Seconds of Darkness
Our Sun – Highly Commended
Alan Friedman (USA), Ultraviolet
People & Space – Winner
Rafael Schmall (Hungary), The Prison of Technology
People & Space – Runner-Up
Tian Li (China), Observe the Heart of the Galaxy
People & Space – Highly Commended
Yang Sutie (China), AZURE Vapor Tracers
Planets, Comets & Asteroids – Winner
Łukasz Sujka (Poland), Space Between US…
Planets, Comets & Asteroids – Runner-Up
Martin Lewis (UK), The Outer Reach
Planets, Comets & Asteroids – Highly Commended
Robert Stephens (USA), The Ghost of Alnilam and a Near Earth Asteroid
Skyscapes – Winner
Thomas Kast (Germany), Painting the Sky
Skyscapes – Runner-Up
Stefan Leibermann (Germany), Desert Magic
Skyscapes – Highly Commended
Weijian Chen (China), Voice of the Universe
Stars & Nebulae – Winner
Peter Ward (Australia), Cosmic Inferno
Stars & Nebulae – Runner-Up
Connor Matherne (USA), The Dolphin Jumping out of an Ocean of Gas
Stars & Nebulae – Highly Commended
Min Xie (USA), The Misty Elephant's Trunk
Young Competition – Winner
Alice Fock Hang (Reunion), aged 11, The Four Planets and the Moon
Young Competition – Runner-Up
Thea Hutchinson (UK), aged 13, Detached Prominences
Young Competition – Highly Commended
Logan Nicholson (Australia), aged 15, The Carina Region
Xiuquan Zhang (China), aged 12, Light Bridge in the Sky
Winslow Barnford (USA), aged 15, Collision Course!
Sir Patrick Moore prize for best newcomer
Bence Toth (Hungary), Waves
Annie Maunder prize for image innovation
Julie F Hill (UK), Infrared Saturn
To find out more about this year’s winning entries, you can visit the website here.