The Royal Observatory Greenwich has announced the winners of its annual Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition for 2020. All of the winning images of the cosmos have brilliant colors and give a sense of the universe’s majesty. The images are also a stark reminder of the fact that Earth sits amongst a seemingly endless treasure trove of dazzling cosmic phenomena.
© Nicolas Lefaudeux (France)
The Observatory, which is a part of the Royal Museums Greenwich, announced the winners on September 11. The overall winner, French photographer Nicolas Lefaudeux, earned a top prize of £10,000 (or $12,860). Lefaudeux’s image, shown above, is a tilt-shifted glimpse of the Andromeda Galaxy taken over two-and-a-half hours. Lefaudeux has named the image Andromeda Galaxy at Arm’s Length.
Below are five other images from the list of overall winners, which comes via Gizmodo. Each one of them offers a different point of view of the universe’s wide range of wild astronomical objects:
Cosmic Inferno is a false-color image of NGC 3576, in which the nebula’s stars have been removed. Peter Ward created the image, and says the goal was to generate an image reminiscent of the Australian wildfires in 2019 and 2020.
Winner of the Stars and Nebulae category. © Peter Ward (Australia)
Space Between Us…
This image shows the close alignment of the Moon and Jupiter that occurred in October 2019. The Polish photographer, Łukasz Sujka, captured the image, and said he wanted to show the “huge emptiness and the size of space, which is why there is a lot of ‘nothing’ between the two major parts of the image.”
Winner of the Planets, Comets, and Asteroids category. © Łukasz Sujka (Poland)
The Green Lady
The Green Lady is an image of the Northern Lights. German photographer, Nicholas Roemmelt, took the photo of the natural light display, which is the result of disruptions in Earth’s magnetosphere due to solar winds.
Winning image for the Aurorae category. © Nicholas Roemmelt (Germany)
Tycho Crater Region with Colours
“This vibrant image teases out the faint colours on the surface of the Moon,” Royal Observatory Greenwich astrophysicist and astronomer, Emily Drabek-Maunder, said of Alain Paillou’s image. This image is actually a combination of two; one taken with a black-and-white camera for sharpness, and one taken with a color camera to capture soil colors.
Winning image for the Our Moon category. © Alain Paillou (France)
Waves shows the central region of the California Nebula (NGC 1499). “The stars are pin sharp and the wispy nebulous texture is perfectly processed,” Steve Marsh, Art Editor at the BBC Sky at Night Magazine said of the image.
Winner of Best Newcomer category. Bence Toth (Hungary)
For those who live in the UK, or are able to travel, all of the winning entries can be seen in person. All winning entries will be on display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London starting on October 23, 2020. Ticket sales for the exhibition are now live and available for purchase here.
Feature image: Nicolas Lefaudeux