Astronomy Photographer of the Year winners revealed
Winners in the 13th annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition were announced recently with 23-year-old Chinese photographer Shuchang Dong taking out top honours and being named Overall Winner with his image, The Golden Ring. The youngest winner of the competition’s top prize, his photograph captured an annular solar eclipse and was taken in the Ali region of Tibet.
The image went on to beat over 4,500 entries from 75 countries, netting Dong the £10,000 first prize. His work, along with the other winners will be on display in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, UK. The judges praised the image for combining the science, art and technological ingenuity of astronomy photography.
"This place has year-round sunny weather, but in front of the annular eclipse, I saw dark clouds all over the sky," Dong says. "We were waiting with anxious minds, but we were lucky. Within a minute of the annular eclipse, the sunshine penetrated through the clouds and afterwards the Sun was sucked into the thick clouds. We were so lucky here!"
Other wining images reveal Aurora borealis taken from the bridge of a ship by Dmitrii Rybalka (Russia), Venus rising over the rocky horizon of the Moon by Nicolas Lefaudeux (France), a star trail taken during lockdown by Deepal Ratnayaka (UK), and the Space X Falcon 9 rocket passing the Moon by Paul Eckhardt (USA).
The international astrophotography compeition is organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine.
Commenting on the winning photograph, judge László Francsics said: “Perfection and simplicity, that can lead to a winner image. The square crop has a tension with the mystic ring, and the misty bluish sky is the complementary of the yellow ring. A true masterpiece”.
Australian photographers recognised
Australian photographers Ed Hurst and Steven Mohr were shortlisted entrants in the People and Space and the Stars and Nebulae categories, respectively.
Stars and Nebulae: Terry Hancock
Aurorae category: Dmitrii Rybalka
Skyscapes: Jeffrey Lovelace
People and Space: Deepal Ratnayaka
Our Moon - Nicolas Lefaudeux
Our Sun: Shuchang Dong
Planets, Comets, and Asteroids: Frank Kuszaj
Galaxies: Zhong Wu
Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Zhipu Wang
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