Aurora Australis from Beerbarrel Beach © James Stone
The Royal Observatory’s “Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019” : Shortlisted images selected for this year’s competition.
The winners will be announced on 12th September and the exhibition opens on 13th September 2019
The spectacular Milky Way over the picturesque Bavarian mountain, Herzogstand, a colourful explosion of the Southern Lights at the east coast of Tasmania, the remarkable Horsehead Nebula and the Flame Nebula, a vast cloud of gas and dust where new stars are being born; the Royal Observatory’s Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019 has once more received thousands of outstanding images. The competition, which is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, sponsored by Insight Investment and in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine, is now in its eleventh year and has broken the record number of entries once more, receiving over 4,600 entries from enthusiastic amateurs and professional photographers, taken from 90 countries across the globe.
Shortlisted images from this year’s entrants include an Aurora shaped like a bird spreading its wings and flying over a destroyed military hydroelectric station in Murmansk, a bright display of noctilucent clouds as seen from Thurso Beach in the north of Scotland and the remnants of an 1860s pier illuminated by the majestic purple hues of our galaxy.
Photographers have also captured sights from across our Solar System, galaxy and the wider universe; from the planetary nebula located in the constellation of Aquarius, the Helix Nebula that lies more than 650 light-years away; the Sculptor galaxy that was discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1783 and known as a starburst galaxy for its intense star formation regions; to the second largest planet in our solar system, Saturn, which is wreathed by a complex system of icy rings and surrounded by more than sixty moons.
The competition’s judges include renowned comedian and keen amateur astronomer, Jon Culshaw; Art Editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine Steve Marsh and a host of experts from the worlds of art and astronomy. The winners of the competition’s nine categories and two special prizes will be announced on Thursday 12 September at a special award ceremony at the National Maritime Museum. The winning images will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum from Friday 13 September, alongside a selection of exceptional shortlisted images. Winners and shortlisted entries will also be published in the competition’s official book, available in September from bookstores and online. The awards ceremony can be followed live on Twitter #astrophoto2019.
Skyscapes: Landscape and cityscape images of twilight and the night sky featuring the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers, comets, conjunctions, constellation rises, halos and noctilucent clouds alongside elements of earthly scenery.
Aurorae: Photographs featuring auroral activity.
People and Space: Photographs of the night sky including people or a human interest element.
Our Sun: Solar images including solar eclipses and transits.
Our Moon: Lunar images including lunar eclipses and occultation of planets.
Planets, Comets and Asteroids: Everything else in our solar system, including planets and their satellites, comets, asteroids and other forms of zodiacal debris.
Stars and Nebulae: Deep space objects within the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other intergalactic phenomena.
Galaxies: Deep space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters, and stellar associations.
Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Pictures taken by budding astronomers under the age of 16 years old.
The judges will also award two special prizes:
The Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer: Photos taken by people who have taken up the hobby in the last year and have not entered an image into the competition before. The judges will give special consideration to those using simple and inexpensive start-out kits.
Robotic Scope Image of the Year: Photos taken using one of the increasing number of computer-controlled telescopes at prime observing sites around the world which can be accessed over the internet by members of the public.
The winners of Royal Observatory’s Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019 will be announced at an award ceremony at the National Maritime Museum on 12 September 2019. The winning photographs, alongside a selection of shortlisted images, will be exhibited in the National Maritime Museum from 13 September 2019. General admission will be £10. The overall winner will receive £10,000. Winners of all other categories and the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year will receive £1,500. There are also prizes for runners-up (£500) and highly commended (£250) entries. The Special Prize winners will receive £750. All of the winning entries will receive a one year subscription to BBC Sky at Night Magazine.
Royal Observatory Greenwich is home of the Prime Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and is one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world. Since its founding in 1675, Greenwich has been at the centre of the measurement of time and astronomy. Today visitors can stand on the historic Prime Meridian line, while the Observatory galleries and Peter Harrison Planetarium help unravel the extraordinary phenomena of time, space and astronomy.
The Royal Observatory is part of Royal Museums Greenwich which also incorporates the National Maritime Museum, the 17th-century Queen’s House and clipper ship Cutty Sark. This unique collection of museums and heritage buildings, which form a key part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcomes over two and a half million British and international visitors a year and is also a major centre of education and research. The mission of Royal Museums Greenwich is to enrich people’s understanding of the sea, the exploration of space, and Britain’s role in world history. For more information, visit www.rmg.co.uk.
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You can see all the shortlisted contenders below with their photos, descriptions and technical details.
A Titanium Moon © Miguel Claro (Portugal)
The Moon is so much richer than the grey body we normally perceive with the human eye. In this RGB image the colour has been slightly increased, but it reveals the real appearance of Earth’s natural satellite. The differences in the chemical constitution of the lunar surface and changes in mineral content can produce subtle colour variations in reflected light. The blue hues that can be seen on the seas like Mare Tranquillitatis or Mare Fecunditatis (right centre and edge) are revealing areas rich in titanium. According to Hawaii’s Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, the presence of this unusual titanium-rich layer was produced by the crystallization of a huge ocean of magma that surrounded the Moon when it formed. This photograph is a result of a high-resolution mosaic composed by four panels, each one made from 30 images combined together to reveal a sharp and detailed surface up to the lunar limb.
Dark Sky® Observatory, Alqueva, Portugal, 25 October 2018
Celestron 14” EdgeHD 355 mm Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope at f/11, Celestron CGEM mount, Nikon D810A camera, ISO 250, 120 x 1/320-second exposures,
Albany Milkyway © Yifan Bai (China)
Each year around September and October, the Milky Way is at its best position. The galactic core is right in the middle of the sky. The photographer stood on the cliff by the sea and with his torch he lit up the natural bridge, which looks like a giant hole. The bridge was created by the gradual wearing away of the granite rock by the great Southern Ocean. This is a panoramic image of 25 single exposures combined.
Albany, Australia, 8 October 2018
Nikon D810 camera, 15 mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 5000, 25 x 30-second exposures
Aurora Australis from Beerbarrel Beach © James Stone (Australia)
A brightly coloured display of the Southern Lights beams high into the night sky on the east coast of Tasmania. The Large Magellanic Cloud also appears at the top centre of the image. Deserted beaches and minimal light pollution make Tasmania an ideal place to photograph the night sky, even more so when the aurora comes out to play.
St Helens, Tasmania, Australia, 20 April 2018
Nikon D750 camera, 15 mm f/3.2 lens, ISO 6400, 10-second exposure.
Aurora is a bird © Alexander Stepanenko (Russia)
The majestic aurora, shaped like a bird, is spreading its wings over the destroyed military hydroelectric station located two hours away from Murmansk. The photographer has visited this location several times over the years trying to photograph the aurora flaring over the old station. In September 2018 the photographer returned and managed to capture this magnificent shot.
Murmansk Region, Russia, 10 September 2018
Nikon D850 camera, 12 mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 4-second exposure.
Aurora like phoenix © Wang Zheng (China)
As the traditional Chinese New Year approached at 9.30 p.m. on 31 January the photographer captured the Aurora Borealis that looked like the ancient, lucky Chinese bird, the phoenix, flying in the sky over the Golden Circle. At the foreground, the aurora reflects its green colours on the river that is crossing through the snow.
Golden Circle, Iceland, 1 February 2019
Sony ILCE-7R2 camera, 12mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 6400, 8-second exposure.
Bloodborne © Keijo Laitala (Finland)
On a very cold morning, with the temperature reaching -27° Celsius, the photographer spent a little over two hours photographing the eclipse and he was using the last battery when he managed to get this shot of the Super Blood Wolf Moon nearing the end of the eclipse. The photographer’s goal was to include the trees in the picture and had very little time to change position and capture the Moon moving between the little opening of the trees.
Oulu, Finland, 21 January 2019
Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, 150 mm f/7.1 lens, ISO 400, 4-second exposure.
Catching Light © Jason Perry (USA)
After several shots throughout the evening right before wrapping-up for the night the photographer captured the Bodie Island Lighthouse in the Outer Banks of North Carolina sized up with the Milky Way and the starry sky exploding in the background.
Nags Head, North Carolina, USA, 13 July 2018
Nikon D850 camera, 14 mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 6400, 9 x 25-second exposures.
Comet and Mountain © Kevin Palmer (USA)
The photographer has been wanting to get an image like this for years, but bright comets have been lacking. Then along came 46P/Wirtanen. The photographer used software to simulate the view and it showed that the comet would set over Loaf Mountain in the Bighorns at 3 a.m. on that particular night in early December. These mountains are often too windy for long exposures, but everything came together. Using a tracking mount, the photographer shot a 4-panel mosaic of the comet and two additional exposures of the snowy mountain and later combined everything together.
Buffalo, Wyoming, USA, 7 December 2018
Nikon D750 camera, iOptron Sky-Tracker mount, Nikon 180mm f/2.8 lens at 180 mm f/5, ISO 1000.
Coming in to land at Mare Crisium Spaceport! © Bud Martin Budzynski (UK)
This image depicts the Sea of Crises before first quarter, located in the Moon’s Crisium basin, just northeast of Mare Tranquillitatis and the shallow cliffs around the top of the Mare slope gently down to the ‘shore’. The photograph was taken during the exceptional seeing conditions during the week the UK experienced the ‘Beast from the East’ storm in February 2018.
Yeovil, Somerset, UK, 22 February 2018.
Celestron C11 279mm Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope at F/10, IR filter, Celestron CGX mount, FLIR (Point Grey) Grasshopper3 mono camera, multiple stacked exposures.
Deep in the Heart of Mordor – NGC 7293 © Andrew Campbell (Australia)
NGC 7293, also known as the Helix Nebula is so-named because it appears that you are looking down the axis of a helix. In reality, it is now understood to have a surprisingly complex geometry, including radial filaments and extended outer loops. The Helix Nebula is one of the brightest and closest examples of a planetary nebula, a gas cloud created at the end of the life of a sun-like star. The remnant central stellar core, destined to become a white dwarf star, glows in light so energetic it causes the previously expelled gas to fluoresce. This image is the result of narrowband data on the Helix Nebula, gathered over two months from suburban Melbourne, Australia. The photographer extracted every bit of data to get the outer chevrons and filigree details to separate from the light pollution and wanted to show the OIII eye structures in the iris, so Photoshop masking was used to balance the overwhelming H-alpha signal and let the OIII present well.
Melbourne, Australia, 27 November 2018
GSO RC8CF 200 mm Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope at f/5.8, Sky-Watcher EQ6 Pro mount, QSI 683 WSG 8 camera, HDR RGB-Ha-OIII composite, 63 hours 58 minutes total exposure.
Dancing in the Goðafoss © Sutie Yang (China)
The Goðafoss waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. The water of the river Skjálfandafljót falls from a height of 12 metres over a width of 30 metres. The photographer had visited the location three times before and each time the weather was not ideal. This time around the photographer had a half an hour window of good weather and during this brief time, the aurora began to dance. This photo was merged from two consecutive images with same EXIF and taken in the same place.
Bárðardalur, Iceland, 14 January 2019
Nikon D850 camera, 14 mm lens
Sky: f/1.8, ISO 2000, 8-second exposure
Foreground: f/2.8, ISO 1600, 30-second exposure.
Embrace of the mountains, heart of the universe! © Majid Ghohroodi (Iran)
The brightest part of the Milky Way, the heart of our galaxy, towers above the peak of the grand volcanic mountain, Damavand. Mount Damavand is the highest mountain in the Middle East and the highest volcano in Asia. For the photographer this is the place that you can reach serenity.
Nandal, Mazandaran Province, Iran, 8 June 2018
Canon EOS 6D camera, 59 mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 6400, 4 x 10-second exposures.
Depth and height, Ngc7822 Devil's Head nebulae-komplex © László Bagi (Hungary)
This image of the Devil’s Head Nebulae Complex is not a traditional RGB photo but a three-colour Hubble Palette colour scheme. Due to this technique different details, structures and depths are visible. Located 3,000 to 3,500 light years away from Earth, its material consists of ionized hydrogen, dust and other gases. There are also several gas columns depicted on the picture, where numerous stars are born. The final image is the result of 29 hours of exposure.
Szarvas, Hungary, 10 October 2018
Custom-built Astrographic Newtonian reflecting telescope at f/4, Astronomik 6 nm Ha, OIII, SII, RGB filters, Sky-Watcher NEQ 6 Pro mount, Atik One 6 CCD Mono camera, L-RGB-Ha-SII-OIII composite, 29-hour total exposure.
Fiery Lobster Nebula © Suavi Lipinski (Australia)
The NGC 6357, commonly known as the Lobster Nebula, spans about 400 light years and lies about 8,000 light years away from the Earth, toward the constellation of the Scorpion. Due to the nature of light collected, colours in this image are arbitrary, with hot hydrogen shown in red, and oxygen and sulphur in blue and green respectively. However, extreme care was taken to preserve the faintest structures and intricacies within the nebulosity when stitching the data together. Data for this narrowband image was acquired over three nights in June 2018 from the photographer’s small backyard in the tropical North Queensland.
Proserpine, Queensland, Australia, 1–2 & 4–6 June 2018
CFF 105 mm apochromatic refractor telescope at f/6, Astrodon 3 nm narrowband filters, Astro-Physics Mach1GTO mount, QSI 690 WSG-8 camera, narrowband composite, 32-hour total exposure.
First of All © Alessandro Cantarelli (Italy)
This photo was a complex challenge for the photographer. When he arrived at night on the cliff of Cala Cipolla in the south of Sardinia he looked for a very high point to take a 360° shot and had to make sure that all the elements would be in the right place. The Capo Malfatano lighthouse on the right with Ursa Major above, the light pollution of Chia, the small town on the left and finally, the photographer holding the headlight under an incredible Milky Way created the perfect composition for the photographer’s first 360° panorama with the astrotracked sky.
Pula, Sardinia, Italy, 18 April 2018
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera, 12 mm f/4 lens
Sky: ISO 800, 300-second exposure
Foreground: ISO 1600, 10-second exposure.
Grand Finale © Gordon Mackie (UK)
An amazing bright display of noctilucent (night-shining) clouds as seen from Thurso Beach in the north of Scotland. The noctilucent cloud-viewing season normally comes to an end around mid-August and this particularly bright ‘Grand Finale’ is mesmerising as the silver ripples and veils slowly changed shape above the northern horizon. This image was selected from a sequence of over 600 individual images taken to produce a time-lapse video.
Caithness, UK, 10 August 2018
Canon EOS 760D camera, 20 mm f/3.5 lens, ISO 800, 6-second exposure.
Gum 12 © Eddie Trimarchi (Australia)
The Gum Nebula or Gum 12 is an emission nebula that extends 36° across the night sky and is actually the very large 12,000-year-old Vela supernova remnant. It mainly consists of red hydrogen and blue doubly ionized oxygen. This is a bi-colour image with H-a mapped to red and OIII mapped to both green and blue.
Biggera Waters, Australia, 25 February 2018
GSO RC10 250 mm Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope at f/6.4, Baader Ha and OIII filters, Sky-Watcher EQ6 mount, Moravian G3-11000 camera, Ha-OIII composite, 30-hour total exposure.
Milky Way Centre © Péter Feltóti (Hungary)
During the photographer’s Namibian expedition, there were no plans to take images with a photo lens, but the look of the Milky Way centre in the zenith was simply too breathtaking to ignore. The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy and at the center there is the galactic bulge, the heart of the galaxy, full of gas, dust, and stars. That was the very first time the photographer truly observed and fathomed that we live inside a galactic disk.
Isabis Farm, Khomas, Namibia, 15 May 2018
Canon EOS 6D astro-modified camera, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 24 mm f/2.8, ISO 6400, 24 x 10-second exposures.
Orion © Raul Villaverde Fraile (Spain)
This image depicts several of the most photographed and mesmerising astronomical objects, from the famous Orion Nebula (M 42) to the Horsehead Nebula (IC 434). In the lower left we also see the reflection nebula M 78, also known as NGC 2068. The surrounding ring is the emission nebula known as Barnard’s Loop. This is a mosaic of 9 photographs and a combination of RGB and H-alpha.
Ocentejo, Castile-La Mancha Spain, 6 January 2019
Takahashi FSQ-106ED 106mm apochromatic refractor telescope at F/4, IDAS LPS and Baader Ha 7 nm filters, Sky-Watcher EQ6 Pro mount, Canon 6D camera, ISO 1600, nine-panel mosaic, RGB-Ha composite, 33 hours 45 minutes total exposure.
Our Moon © Tom Mogford (UK)
This image of the Moon started as videos in a 4 x 4 grid. This allowed the photographer to capture high-quality stills, using the technique called ‘lucky imaging’, to be used in a mosaic and create the full image. The higher contrast shows the level of detail without losing all the colour of the mineral deposits on the surface. What the photographer really likes about this image is the clarity of all the craters and valleys, which allow you to zoom in and see the locations of the Apollo landing sites.
Goult, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France, 1 August 2018
Celestron 8” EdgeHD 200 mm Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope at f/10, Celestron AVX mount, ZWO ASI178MC camera, mosaic of multiple stacked exposures.
Out on a Limb © Alastair Woodward (UK)
This image shows a solitary prominence on the limb of the solar disk. With minimum solar activity, prominences have become a main focus of interest in 2018. The photographer inverted the image during processing to show both the prominence and details of the chromosphere. The photograph consists of a stack of 70 per cent of the best 1,000 frames from an AVI shot at 40fps. The stack was generated using Autostakkert!, the ImPPG software was used for deconvolution, unsharpen masking and tone curve adjustment and Adobe Photoshop CC was used for false colouring and sharpening.
Derby, UK, 8 July 2018
Sky-Watcher Evostar 120 mm refractor telescope at f/35, Daystar QUARK Chromosphere Hydrogen Alpha Eyepiece filter, Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro GoTo mount, FLIR Blackfly Mono CMOS (IMX249) camera, Quark telecentric 4.2x Barlow lens, 1200 x 0.025-second exposures.
Polar © Xiuquan Zhang (China)
In the winter of 2018, the photographer and his family travelled to Iceland to capture the Northern Lights. Just at the right time, the photographer witnessed two outbursts and screamed with excitement. This spectacular sight can’t be seen in the mid-latitudes so it was a very special and unique moment.
Jökulsárlón, Iceland, 6 February 2019
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera, 14 mm f/2 lens, ISO 10000, 4-second exposure.
Reflections of aurorae and meteors © Angel Yu (China)
At the edge of the Arctic Circle, where millions of years of ice had collected, the photographer felt like being in another dimension where time passed more slowly. The flaring aurora reflected on the water, the stones on the surface of the lake, along with the reflections of the stars, shone like diamonds. A shooting star streaked over too fast for the photographer to see but fortunately, everything was captured by the camera.
Jökulsárlón, Iceland, 26 January 2019
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera, 14 mm f/1.8 lens, ISO 5000, 10-second exposure.
Reflections of Mount Hooker © Marc Toso (USA)
Mount Hooker sits 15 miles past alpine lakes and mountain passes in the Wind River Mountain Range in Wyoming. After the sun set the photographer ventured across the lake near camp. The lake was shallow; at its far end, the low water revealed stones of various sizes. Following the narrow tunnel of the headlamp’s beam, the photographer leapt from rock to stone across the water. The sky was clear, the glorious Milky Way was looming over the mountains and the stars shone bright and everything was reflected beautifully on the foreground. The photographer sat on a rock about 20 feet into the lake and started to shoot. Engulfed in dark beauty the photographer realised that astrophotography is primarily about the experience, with the beautiful photo just an extra.
Pinedale, Wyoming, USA, 3 September 2018
Nikon D810A camera, 24 mm f/2 lens, ISO 6400, 50 x 20-second exposures.
Road to glory © Nicolai Brügger (Germany)
The Milky Way is stretching over the splendid Dolomites dressed in white. The photographer shot the foreground at 7 p.m. in good blue hour and took many vertical images. The Milky Way was captured at 5:30 am the next morning at the exact same position. The photographer composed this panorama using many vertical shots so the foreground and the comet would be perfectly lit.
Giau Pass, Dolomites, Italy, 6–7 February 2019
Nikon D810 camera, 15 mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 1600 (foreground), ISO 5000 (sky), 30 x 20-second exposures.
Seven-colour feather of the moon © Yiming Li (China)
The image showcases the magnificent corona of the Moon and the motion of the clouds resembling colourful brushstrokes on a painting. The photographer used dozens of pictures to build a stack. For the photographer this is one of the most beautiful images of the brightest and largest object in our night sky and it resembles a seven-colour feather growing out of the Moon.
Dongguan, China, 28 July 2018
Canon EOS 6D camera, 100 mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 400, 50 x 1-second exposures.
Sharafkhaneh port and lake Urmia © Masoud Ghadiri (Iran)
Lake Urmia used to be the largest saltwater lake in the Middle East. Due to climate change, damming of rivers and low rainfall, the lake now contains only five per cent of the amount of water it used to two decades ago. The ship shown was 6 km from the port. Because of the lack of suitable transport, the photographer took a motorcycle for 2.5 km and walked the rest of the way. The summer Milky Way is very prominent in this photo. On the galaxy zone, Saturn is located besides the Lagoon Nebula. On the right of the horizon, you can see the extreme light pollution of Urmia, which is caused by ever-increasing city development.
Lake Urmia, Iran, 11 August 2018
Nikon D850 camera, Vixen Polarie mount, 24 mm f/4 lens, ISO 3200, 60-second exposure.
Silent Spring Sun © Alan Friedman (USA)
A full disk solar portrait captured close to solar minimum showing a placid chromosphere disturbed by a single active region 2706. The tonality of the chromosphere and its features have been inverted in this image, which has been colourised from the original black and white data.
Buffalo, New York, USA, 22 April 2018
Astro-Physics F5 Stowaway telescope, Coronado SolarMax 90 mm etalon filter, Astro-Physics German Equatorial mount, Point Grey Research Grasshopper camera, 900 mm 90 mm telescope f/10 lens, 1/1000-second exposure.
The Carina Nebula © Petar Babić (Croatia)
For the photographer the Carina Nebula is the most beautiful nebula in the night sky. The image showcases how extensive and colourful the Nebula really is. Using the iTelescope service he shot this picture with a monochrome camera using three different filters hydrogen alpha, OIII and SII and then, after collecting all the data, he combined those three filters into one colour image using Pixinsight. The yellows and oranges show the H-alpha and SII, and the blues show the OIII.
Siding Spring Observatory, New South Wales, Australia, 24 January 2019
iTelescope T9 Tele Vue NP127 127 mm apochromatic refractor telescope at f/5.6, 10Micron 2000 HPS mount, FLI ProLine 16803 camera, Ha-OIII-SII composite, 3 hours 30 minutes total exposure.
The Horsehead and Flame Nebula © Connor Matherne (USA)
This image was heavily inspired by Ken Crawford’s photo of the Horsehead Nebula which perfectly showcased the hydrogen filaments located within the blue reflection nebula, NGC 2023, just below the Horsehead. The small pink filaments contrast beautifully against the blue reflection nebula. The photographer thinks of those small filaments as the cherry on top of this spectacular region of the night sky caught in a swirl of dust and gas.
Deep Sky West Observatory, Rowe, New Mexico, USA, 27 November 2018
Takahashi TOA-150 150 mm apochromatic refractor telescope at f/7.3, FLI filters, Astro-Physics AP 1600 mount, FLI ML16200 camera, L-RGB composite, 26-hour total exposure.
The last of us 2.0 © David Ros Garcia (Spain)
This panorama was taken in the caves of Zaén, formed approximately 11 million years ago. With this image the photographer wanted to establish a link between nature, the universe and humanity through dark and light. With a Mini Maglite flashlight, the photographer illuminated the cave and the shot was planned with Planit! Pro to capture the Milky Way in the right place. The panoramic was formed by five shots, united with PTGui Pro, revealed in Lightroom and processed in Adobe Photoshop.
Zaén, Murcia, Spain, 8 July 2018
Canon 6D camera, 15 mm f/2.5 lens, ISO 6400, 5 x 25-second exposures.
The Lord of the rings and his court © Jordi Delpeix Borrell (Spain)
Saturn’s magnificent broad, bright rings and its bright satellites present one of the most beautiful sights visible through the telescope eyepiece. The image showcases Titan at the bottom right, Rhea on the top left, Tethys and Dione to the right of the planet and Enceladus and Mimas under the rings. Saturn’s tilt is cyclical and reaches maximum inclination every 15 years. The maximum tilt toward the Earth was in 2017, offering us the best views of the north polar hexagon and the rings at their widest. Saturn is now beginning to tilt in the opposite direction, meaning the next time the rings are best seen will be in 2032, but we will only see the southern side of the rings and Saturn’s polar hexagon will not be visible from the Earth. I will have to wait until 2047 to try it again. I wanted to get a high-resolution image of the ringed planet with its majestic rings wide open, the polar hexagon, its brighter moons and try to register some detail on Titan’s surface.
Long Bay, Barbados, 5 July 2018
Celestron C14 355mm Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope at f/30, Sky-Watcher EQ6 Pro mount, ZWO ASI174MM camera, multiple 50-millisecond exposures.
The Perseid Fireball 2018 © Zhengye Tang (China)
The image was taken at 4.45 a.m. on 13 August 2018 near Keluke Lake, Qinghai Province, China. A group of 11 went to the lake to watch the Perseids and this was the photographer’s first meteor shower watch. When the group were about to pack up and go back to the hotel it suddenly appeared, a fireball that flashed over the sky and lit up the ground. The halo effect lasted about three minutes.
Keluke Lake, Qinghai, China, 13 August 2018
Nikon D810A camera, 14 mm f/1.8 lens, ISO 6400, 10-second exposure.
The Remnants © Marcin Zajac (Poland)
The galactic centre shines bright over the Davenport Pier. Built in the 1860s, the pier was a platform used for transporting timber north towards San Francisco. Long abandoned since then, the wharf eroded and today only the concrete arches that once held the pier have survived the test of time. Despite its proximity to urban areas, this stretch of the Pacific coast is sparsely populated and an excellent place to view and photograph the stars.
Davenport, California, USA, 3 August 2018
Nikon D600 camera, 24 mm f/1.4 lens, ISO 1600, 15-second exposure.
The Sculptor Galaxy © Bernard Miller, Martin Pugh (USA)
This is an image of NGC 253, also known as the Sculptor Galaxy. It is a spiral galaxy about 11 million light years away in the constellation Sculptor. It is a starburst galaxy, which means it undergoes periods of intense star formation and is the largest galaxy in a group of galaxies called the Sculptor Group.
Yass, New South Wales, Australia, 12 November 2018
Planewave CDK-17 432 mm Dall-Kirkham reflecting telescope at f/6.8, Paramount ME mount, SBIG STXL-11002 camera, L-RGB-Ha composite, 13 hours 10 minutes total exposur.
View Point © Nicolai Brügger (Germany)
The spectacular Milky Way over the picturesque Bavarian mountain, Herzogstand. The photographer often hikes up this mountain, mostly to observe the Milky Way. The image also depicts a beautiful glow over the horizon, the lakes Walchensee and Kochelsee on the left side and a tiny cabin on the right side.
Kochel, Bavaria, Germany, 22 May 2018
Nikon D810 camera, 15 mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 5000, 33 x 20-second exposures.
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