In Photos: Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019
The Milky Way over a Bavarian mountain, a colorful explosion of the Southern Lights in Tasmania, and the Horsehead and Flame nebulas, all featured in the Royal Observatory’s Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019 shortlist.
The competition, now in its 11th year, has broken the record of entries, receiving more than 4,600 photographs from amateurs and professionals. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the National Maritime Museum on 12 September, with an exhibition of the winning and shortlisted images starting on 13 September.
Check them out for more information and start to see our world through photos!
Eddie Trimarchi (Australia). The Gum nebula, or Gum 12, is an emission nebula that extends 36° across the night sky and is actually the 12,000-year-old remnant of the Vela supernova. It mainly consists of red hydrogen and blue doubly ionized oxygen
Photograph: Eddie Trimarchi/National Maritime Museum
Paul Villaverde Fraile (Spain). This mosaic of nine photographs depicts several famous nebulas, such as the Orion and the Horsehead ones. In the lower left of the pictures, there is the reflection of nebula M 78, also known as NGC 2068. The surrounding ring is the emission nebula known as Barnard’s Loop.
Photograph: Raul Villaverde Fraile/Royal Observatory Greenwich
Deep in the Heart of Mordor – NGC 7293
Andrew Campbell (Australia). NGC 7293, also known as the Helix nebula, owns its name to the fact that it looks like looking down the axis of a helix. In reality, it has 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.
Photograph: Andrew Campbell/National Maritime Museum
The Running Man Nebula
Steven Mohr (Australia). The Running Man nebula can be found in the constellation of Orion, located some 1,500 light years from Earth. This nebula complex is commonly called the Running Man nebula due to the somewhat identifiable outline of a man striding through space.
Photograph: Steven Mohr/National Maritime Museum
The Sculptor GalaxyBernard 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.
Photograph: Bernard Miller and Martin Pugh/National Maritime Museum
Milky Way Centre
Péter Feltóti (Hungary). The Milky Way, here shot from Namibia, 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.
Photograph: Péter Feltóti/National Maritime Museum
The Horsehead and Flame nebula
Connor Matherne (USA). 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.
Photograph: Connor Matherne/National Maritime Museum
The Lord of the rings and his court
Jordi Delpeix Borrell (Spain). The image showcases Saturn’s bright rings and satellites. Titan is 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.
Photograph: Jordi Delpeix Borrell/National Maritime Museum
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 colorized from the original black and white data.
Photograph: Alan Friedman/National Maritime Museum
Out on a Limb
Alastair Woodward (UK). This image shows a solitary prominence on the limb of the solar disk. 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.
Photograph: Alastair Woodward/National Maritime Museum
Seven-color feather of the moon
Li Yiming (China). The image showcases the magnificent corona of the moon and the motion of the clouds resembling colorful brushstrokes on a painting. The photographer used dozens of pictures to build a stack.
Photograph: Li Yiming/National Maritime Museum
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, north-east of Mare Tranquillitatis and the shallow cliffs around the top of the Mare slope gently down to the ‘shore’.
Photograph: Bud Martin Budzynski/National Maritime Museum
A Titanium Moon
Miguel Claro (Portugal). In this RGB image the color has been slightly increased, but it reveals the real appearance of the moon. The differences in the chemical constitution of the lunar surface and changes in mineral content can produce subtle color variations in reflected light. The blue hues that can be seen on the seas like Mare Tranquillitatis or Mare Fecunditatis (right center and edge) are areas rich in titanium.
Photograph: Miguel Claro/National Maritime Museum
The Perseid Fireball 2018
Tang Zhengye (China). The image was taken at 4.45am on 13 August 2018 near Keluke Lake, Qinghai province, China. This was the photographer’s first meteor shower watch, who saw a fireball that flashed over the sky and lit up the ground just before leaving. The halo effect lasted about three minutes.
Photograph: Tang Zhengye/National Maritime Museum
Bai Yifan (China). Each year in 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 to make it look 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.
Photograph: Bai Yifan/National Maritime Museum
Nicolai Brügger (Germany). The spectacular Milky Way over the picturesque Bavarian mountain Herzogstand. 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.
Photograph: Nicolai Brügger/National Maritime Museum
Sharafkhaneh port and lake Urmia
Masoud Ghadiri (Iran). 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.
Photograph: Masoud Ghadiri/National Maritime Museum
Marcin Zajac (Poland). The galactic center shines bright over the Davenport pier. Built in the 1860s, the pier was a platform used for transporting timber 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.
Photograph: Marcin Zajac/National Maritime Museum
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. 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, with everything reflecting beautifully on the foreground.
Photograph: Marc Toso/National Maritime Museum
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.
Photograph: Alexander Stepanenko/National Maritime Museum