The winners of the 2020 Astronomy Photographer of the Year Awards

Comments Comments

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.

© Nicolas Lefaudeux
© Nicolas Lefaudeux

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.

© Peter Ward. Alluna Optics RC-16 telescope at f/8, 5 nm Ha filter, Paramount ME II mount, SBIG STX-16803 camera, 32 x 10-minute exposures. 

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.

© Logan Nicholson. ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool camera, Samyang/Rokinon 135 mm f/2 lens at f/2, ZWO filters, Sky-Watcher AZ-GTi mount, RGB-Ha composite, 5 hours total exposure.
© Logan Nicholson. ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool camera, Samyang/Rokinon 135 mm f/2 lens at f/2, ZWO filters, Sky-Watcher AZ-GTi mount, RGB-Ha composite, 5 hours total exposure.

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

© Mark Hanson

Galaxies – Highly Commended

Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mateos (Spain), Attack on the Large Magellanic Cloud 

© Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mateos 

Aurorae – Winner 

Nicholas Roemmelt (Germany), The Green Lady

© Nicholas Roemmelt

Aurorae –  Runner-up

Tom Archer (UK), Lone Tree under a Scandinavian Aurora

© Tom Archer

Aurorae – Highly Commended

Kristina Makeeva (Russia), Iceland

© Kristina Makeeva 

Our Moon – Winner

Alain Paillou (France), Tycho Crater Region with Colours

© Alain Paillou

Our Moon – Runner-up

Ethan Roberts (UK), HDR Partial Lunar Eclipse with Clouds

© Ethan Roberts

Our Moon – Highly Commended

Daniel Koszela (Poland), Moon Base

© Daniel Koszela

Our Sun – Winner 

Alexandra Hart (UK), Liquid Sunshine

© Alexandra Hart

Our Sun – Runner-Up

Filip Ogorzeski (Poland), 145 Seconds of Darkness

© Filip Ogorzeski  

Our Sun – Highly Commended

Alan Friedman (USA), Ultraviolet

© Alan Friedman 

People & Space – Winner

Rafael Schmall (Hungary), The Prison of Technology  

© Rafael Schmall 

People & Space – Runner-Up  

Tian Li (China), Observe the Heart of the Galaxy

© Tian Li

People & Space – Highly Commended

Yang Sutie (China), AZURE Vapor Tracers

© Yang Sutie

Planets, Comets & Asteroids – Winner

Łukasz Sujka (Poland), Space Between US…

© Łukasz Sujka

Planets, Comets & Asteroids – Runner-Up 

Martin Lewis (UK), The Outer Reach 

© Martin Lewis

Planets, Comets & Asteroids – Highly Commended 

Robert Stephens (USA), The Ghost of Alnilam and a Near Earth Asteroid

© Robert Stephens

Skyscapes – Winner 

Thomas Kast (Germany), Painting the Sky

© Thomas Kast

Skyscapes – Runner-Up

Stefan Leibermann (Germany), Desert Magic 

© Stefan Liebermann

Skyscapes – Highly Commended

Weijian Chen (China), Voice of the Universe

© Weijian Chen

Stars & Nebulae – Winner 

Peter Ward (Australia), Cosmic Inferno

© Peter Ward

Stars & Nebulae – Runner-Up

Connor Matherne (USA), The Dolphin Jumping out of an Ocean of Gas

© Connor Matherne

Stars & Nebulae – Highly Commended 

Min Xie (USA), The Misty Elephant's Trunk

© Min Xie  

Young Competition – Winner

Alice Fock Hang (Reunion), aged 11, The Four Planets and the Moon 

© Alice Fock Hang 

Young Competition – Runner-Up

Thea Hutchinson (UK), aged 13, Detached Prominences 

© Thea Hutchinson 

Young Competition – Highly Commended

Logan Nicholson (Australia), aged 15, The Carina Region

Xiuquan Zhang (China), aged 12, Light Bridge in the Sky   

© Xiuquan Zhang

Winslow Barnford (USA), aged 15, Collision Course!

© Winslow Barnford  

Special Awards

Sir Patrick Moore prize for best newcomer

Bence Toth (Hungary), Waves

© Bence Toth

 Annie Maunder prize for image innovation

Julie F Hill (UK), Infrared Saturn

© Julie F Hill

To find out more about this year’s winning entries, you can visit the website here.   

comments powered by Disqus