This stunning collection of images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition assembles the very best astrophotography from around the world. Organized by the Royal Observatory, the photographs capture an astounding range of astronomical phenomena both within our solar system and far into deep space.
The book features four sections: Earth and Space, Our Solar System, Deep Space, and Overall Winners. The images are from the first six years of the competition (2009-2014), and include all the winners from each year along with a carefully curated selection from the shortlists. They are accompanied by notes from the judges and photographer, with background information and camera specifications.
From giant storm systems in Jupiter's atmosphere to the colorful, wispy remnants of a supernova explosion and the dazzling green curtain of the Northern Lights, Astronomy Photographer of the Year will appeal to both astrophotographers and beginners who simply enjoy gazing at the night sky.
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich UK is home to London's only planetarium, the Harrison Timekeepers, and the UK's largest refracting telescope.
INTRODUCTION TO COMPETITION
ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
2014 was the sixth year of Astronomy Photographer of the Year, the competition to showcase the best celestial images taken from Planet Earth, organized by the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and run in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine, with the help of Flickr. Each year the competition continues to grow, and in 2014 over 1700 entries were submitted from photographers all around the world in the categories of 'Earth and Space', 'Our Solar System', 'Deep Space' and 'Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year'.
In each category the competition's judges select a winner, a runner-up and three highly commended entries. The four winning images then go forward to compete for the title of Astronomy Photographer of the Year.
Three special prizes reflect the constantly evolving nature of astrophotography. 'People and Space' and 'Robotic Scope' celebrate the creativity and technological advances that photographers continue to bring to the field of astrophotography; while the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer honours the man who did more than any other to engage the public with the wonders of the night sky.
This collection brings together some of the best shortlisted and winning images from the past six years of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Images are arranged in three sections based on the competition categories: Earth and Space, Our Solar System and Deep Space. This curated selection of shortlisted entries is followed by the Overall Winners from 2009-2014. Entries from the 'Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year' category and the three special prizes are shown within the section appropriate to the subject.
EARTH AND SPACE Photos that include landscapes, people and other 'Earthly' things alongside an astronomical subject.
Planet Earth is a special place; even powerful instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope have yet to find another planet with landscapes and environments as varied and beautiful as those of our own world. Photographs submitted in this category showcase the Earth's amazing scenery against the backdrop of the heavens, reflecting our planet's relationship with the wider Universe around us.
OUR SOLAR SYSTEM Photos of the Sun and its family of planets, moons, asteroids and comets.
We can see the Moon, the Sun and our local planets on a daily basis, even with the naked eye. But the photographs in this category present our cosmic neighbours in a new light, using equipment which reveals incredible levels of detail and by imaginative compositions which highlight their unique beauty.
DEEP SPACE Photos of anything beyond the Solar System, including stars, nebulae and galaxies.
Deep-space images give us a window into some of the most distant and exotic objects in the Universe; from the dark dust clouds where new stars are born to the glowing embers of supernova remnants, and far beyond to distant galaxies whose light set out towards us millions of years ago. These pictures take us to the depths of space and the furthest reaches of our imaginations.
YOUNG ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR Photos by people under 16 years of age.
The mission of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, is to explain the wonder and excitement of astronomy and space science to the public. Inspiring young people and encouraging them to study science is an important part of this mission. The Young Astronomy Photographer category is a way to showcase the amazing skill and imagination of younger photographers, and to nurture their curiosity about the Universe.
PEOPLE AND SPACE Photos that include people in a creative and original way.
At some time or another we have all experienced that moment when you look up at the vastness of the night sky and suddenly realize that you are a very small part of the Universe. This prize is awarded to pictures which juxtapose human and cosmic scales, with effects ranging from the profound to the humorous.
THE SIR PATRICK MOORE PRIZE FOR BEST NEWCOMER Photos by people who have taken up astrophotography in the last year and have not entered the competition before.
If the incredible skill and experience displayed by some of the winners of Astronomy Photographer of the Year can sometimes seem a bit intimidating, this special prize is a reminder that everyone was a beginner once upon a time. Indeed, imagination and an eye for the perfect shot can be just as important, and not every winning image was taken by an old hand.
ROBOTIC SCOPE Photos taken remotely using a robotic telescope and processed by the entrant.
Combining modern telescope technology with the power of the internet, robotic telescopes offer a new way for astronomy enthusiasts to experience the sky. Members of the public can sign up for time on state-of-the-art equipment in some of the best observing sites in the world, controlling the telescope remotely and downloading their images via the web. Robotic scopes give amateur astronomers access to equipment that previously only professional research observatories could afford.