Astronomy Photographer of the Year   Leave a comment

Photograph: Rogelio Bernal Andreo

A Flawless Point: the Milky Way arches over Yosemite Valley in California’s famous national park. A lens-shaped (lenticular) cloud hovers over the granite dome of Liberty Cap, which rises to more than 2,000 metres, near the centre of the photograph.


Photograph: Tommy Eliassen

The Night Photographer: camping out in a remote location and spending hours waiting for the perfect shot is all in a night’s work for the dedicated astronomy photographer. On the Korgfjellet Mountain in Norway, this photographer’s patience was rewarded with the sight of a bright meteor streaking across the sky as it burns up high in the Earth’s atmosphere.


Photograph: Ingólfur Bjargmundsson

Comet Panstarrs: Although a line of burnt orange along the horizon marks where sunset has already occurred, most of the light in this image still comes ultimately from the sun. High in the sky the bright disc of the moon is shining with reflected sunlight, while a tiny smudge above the sea is sunlight reflecting from the dust and gas in the tail of Comet Panstarrs. Even the aurora’s ghostly curtains of glowing gas are ultimately powered by the solar wind of subatomic particles blowing from the sun. Only the stars shine with their own light.


Photograph: Michael Sidonio

Eta Carinae and Her Keyhole: the Carina Nebula is a chaotic region of star formation several thousand light years from Earth. In the central part of the nebula, shown here, dense clouds of gas and dust are lit up by the light of newly born stars. One of these is Eta Carinae at the centre of this image. More than a hundred times as massive as the sun, and millions of times brighter, Eta Carinae is unstable and will one day explode as a supernova.


Photograph: Stephen Banks

Archway to Heaven: the band of our Milky Way galaxy is the dramatic backdrop for the rock archway of Durdle Door on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast in this carefully composed shot. The rock formations on this stretch of the coast are more than 100m years old, but many of the stars in the Milky Way are up to 10bn years old.


Photograph: Stefano De Rosa

Hunter’s Moon over the Alps: As the full moon sinks in the west, the sun rises in the east, lighting up the snow-capped Alpine horizon. Although both moon and mountain are illuminated by sunlight, they owe their different colours to the scattering effects of the Earth’s atmosphere on the sun’s white light.


Photograph: Nik Szymanek

Orion Nebula: Modern digital cameras can detect light too faint for the naked human eye. In rendering this information as an image we can understand, astronomy photographers must make practical and aesthetic choices about contrast, brightness and colour. Here, the photographer has chosen a subdued palette to emphasise the delicate structure of the nebula’s dust clouds.


Photograph: Wayne England

Receiving the Galactic Beam: Here, the photographer has caught the moment when the Milky Way appears to line up with the giant 64-metre dish of the radio telescope at Parkes Observatory in Australia.


Photograph: James Woodend

Photographers on the Rim of Mývatn Craters: although displays of aurorae have become more common as the sun nears the peak of its 11-year cycle of activity in 2013, these hilltop observers in northern Iceland were lucky to witness such a spectacular example


Photograph: Paul Haese

Solar Max: Loops of plasma known as ‘prominences’ on the surface of the sun. The seething surface is also pockmarked with sunspots. Both features only become visible when a filter is used to remove the glare


Photograph: Andre van der Hoeven

Herbig-Haro Objects in the Pelican Nebula: jets of material blast from the poles of some newborn stars. Here, these ‘Herbig-Haro objects’ can be seen emerging from the thick dust and gas clouds of the Pelican Nebula, a stellar nursery in the constellation of Cygnus.


Photograph: Anna Walls

Leaning In: familiar stars and constellations form a line rising up behind this windswept tree in Dartmoor National Park in the southwest of England. Just above the horizon is Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, followed by the unmistakeable outline of Orion the Hunter. Above this is the triangular face of Taurus the Bull with the orange star Aldebaran, the disc of the moon and the bright, compact cluster of the Pleiades.


Photograph: Mike Curry

Northern Lights XXIII: A vast sweep of shimmering aurora light appears to follow the frozen shoreline in this shot. To capture all of the different sources of light – the stars, the aurora and the streetlights of the distant towns – is a tricky balancing act


Photograph: Mark Shaw

Full view of Noctilucent cloud: noctilucent clouds are made of tiny ice crystals high in the atmosphere, around 80km above the ground. Their name means ‘night shining’ in Latin and they only become visible during deep twilight conditions. Here, they put on a spectacular display above the Pennine Hills of northern England.


Photograph: Alexandru Conu

Venus Transit at the Black Sea: transits of Venus are rare. Transits occur in pairs eight years apart, with each pair separated by more than a century. On each occasion, Venus only takes around six hours to cross the disc of the sun.




Posted August 12, 2013 by kitokinimi in Uncategorized

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