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Astronomy Photographer of the Year Announced
Posted: 19 September 2013

Astronomy Photographer of the Year
Guiding Light to the Stars: The skies of the Southern Hemisphere offer a rich variety of astronomical highlights. The central regions of the Milky Way Galaxy, 26,000 light years away, appear as a tangle of dust and stars in the central part of the image. Two even more distant objects are visible as smudges of light in the upper left of the picture. These are the Magellanic Clouds, two small satellite galaxies in orbit around the Milky Way. See a larger version. © Mark Gee (Australia)

The winners of the 2013 Astronomy Photographer of the Year were announced at the Royal Observatory Greenwich on Wednesday. The top prize of £1,500 went to Australian photographer Mark Gee for his image of the Milky Way arcing above the shoreline of Cape Palliser, New Zealand.

"I love the tranquil combination of sea and sky in this beautiful image, along with the comforting human element of the cliff-top lighthouse," competition judge and Royal Observatory Public Astronomer, Dr. Marek Kukula said "This view from the shores of New Zealand makes me think of the long voyages the Maori's ancestors made into unchartered oceans, guided by the stars. We're in a similar situation today, as we set out to explore the Universe".

The winning image takes pride of place in a new free exhibition which opens at the Royal Observatory Greenwich today. Visitors can also see images that were named runner-up or highly commended. The exhibition runs until 23 February 2014. Details are available at from the Royal Museums Greenwich website. Winners and shortlisted entries will also be published in the competition's official book which goes on sale today.

Winners and runners up of the other categories and special prizes include the striking vision of a green Aurora Borealis captured by Fredrik Broms (Norway); a breath-taking view of a total eclipse of the Sun, sometimes called a 'cosmic coincidence' due to the similar apparent sizes of the Sun and Moon, taken by Man-To Hui (China); a dreamlike panorama of the Rho Ophiuchi and Antares Nebulae, appearing like spots of ink floating through water, by Tom O'Donoghue (Ireland); and a ghostly, visceral depiction of the 2012 Transit of Venus snapped by British newcomer Sam Cornwell, winner of the newly renamed Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer, 14 year old Jacob Marchio from the USA impressed the judges with two images; the first a highly skilled portrait of a waxing crescent Moon and the second and winning image of the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category, a beautifully moody picture of the Milky Way Galaxy rendered with a dusky brown colour palette.

All the images can be seen on the competition's flickr page.

The Planets
From tiny Mercury to distant Neptune and Pluto, The Planets profiles each of the Solar System's members in depth, featuring the latest imagery from space missions. The tallest mountains, the deepest canyons, the strongest winds, raging atmospheric storms, terrain studded with craters and vast worlds of ice are just some of the sights you'll see on this 100-page tour of the planets.

Hubble Reborn
Hubble Reborn takes the reader on a journey through the Universe with spectacular full-colour pictures of galaxies, nebulae, planets and stars as seen through Hubble's eyes, along the way telling the dramatic story of the space telescope, including interviews with key scientists and astronauts.

3D Universe
Witness the most awesome sights of the Universe as they were meant to be seen in this 100-page extravaganza of planets, galaxies and star-scapes, all in 3D!


© 2014 Pole Star Publications Ltd.