Shoot for the Stars
the winning images from this year’s insight astronomy photographer of the year award are, as you might hope and expect, completely out of this world…
With a top prize of £ 10,000 up for grabs, the 2017 insight astronomy photographer of the Year award is a hotly- contested competition amongst the best of the astrophotography world. Modern imaging technology has opened up the world of astrophotography to all of us – with enough time, practice and knowledge you can just as likely capture award- winning images of space with an entry- level DSLR as you can with a complex telescopic set- up. the annual award, now in its ninth year, runs in association with the Royal observatory Greenwich and seeks to find the best interplanetary images from around the world ( and beyond). this year it attracted almost 4,000 entries from over 90 countries!
the overall grand prize winner was Russian photographer artem Mironov, whose detailed image of the Rho ophiuchi Cloud Complex, situated approximately 400- light years away from Earth, impressed judges in the Stars & Nebulae category. the winning image was taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mk ii over a whopping 15- hour exposure at iso 1600, using a Sky- Watcher 200mm f/ 4 reflector telescope and HEQ5 pro mount. Judge and BBC Sky at Night magazine editor Chris Bramley, commented: “Judging the entries has been a real pleasure but also tougher than ever, such was the all- round quality of the field. i was particularly impressed that there were so many new and ground- breaking responses to the night sky captured by the entrants this year.”
the winning and commended images are now on display at the Royal observatory astronomy Centre, in a free exhibition until 28 June 2017. the book celebrating this year’s award is also on sale at the exhibition, priced at £ 25. For more information on this year’s winning images, and future awards, visit: www. rmg. co. uk/ astrophoto
1) overall winner & 1St Prize Stars & nebulae: The Rho Ophiuchi Clouds by Artem Mironov: “the rho ophiuchi cloud complex is a dark emission and reflection nebula situated approx 460- light years away from our plane."
2) 1St Prize aurorae: Ghost World by Mikkel Beiter: taken in stokksnes, iceland, the photographer captured the glow of the aurora in the wet sands as clouds roll across the mountains, allowing him to capture this other- worldly scene.
3) 1St Prize People & Space: Wanderer in Patagonia by Yuri Zvezdny: “a stargazer stares up at our galaxy, the milky way, as they stretch across the night sky over the glacier ‘ white stones’ in the los glaciares national park, argentina."
4) 1St Prize Planets, comets & asteroids: Venus Phase Evolution by Roger Hutchinson: the photographer captures the changing size of Venus with the same setup as the planet moves across our sky over a course of six months.