BBC Astronomy contest winners

The BBC has announced the winners of its Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest, and although I’m not showing the prize-winning image (it doesn’t move me), here are a few I especially liked.  Go over and see the others. The BBC’s captions are indented:

The runner-up in this section was also a composite image.

Taken by Catalin Beldea and processed by Alson Wong, Sun Flower Corona uses 12 images to convey the beauty of an eclipse.

Dr Kukula said this effect, could only have been revealed by this clever use of the camera.


In contrast, the runner-up, Katherine Young’s Rise Lunation, is made up of just one frame and has no post-processing.

It is the Moon just rising, seen through thick layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, distorting the air with only the red part of the spectrum reaching the camera.


Yu Jun’s Geminids over the Lamost telescope shows a night’s worth of meteors over an observatory in China.

“This picture shows all these meteors, grains of dust burning up high the atmosphere,” said Dr Kukula.

“Because the photographer has composited all the meteors from one night, you can see they all come from one spot in the sky.”


Damian Peach said he had had near perfect conditions for viewing the rings of Saturn, in March of this year.

His picture, Serene Saturn, shows a variety of coloured bands within the atmosphere of the planet.

“It could almost be a Hubble Space Telescope picture, but it was taken by an amateur astronomer using commercially available equipment,” said Dr Kukula.


Dani Caxete took Man on the Moon, using a telescope as his friend posed on Pena Munana, in Cadalso de los Vidrios, Spain.


Ainsley Bennett got up early in October to capture his picture, Binary Haze.

“I knew the Moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter were in close conjunction,” he said.

“To my surprise, the mist added a new dimension by accentuating the brightness of the crescent moon and Venus making them look like glowing spheres.

“The resultant image looked like something from a science-fiction movie, with binary stars rising from the horizon of an unknown planet.”



h/t: Kevin


  1. Posted September 20, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Wow, all great! My favorite is the last one.

  2. Posted September 20, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Fabulous images – especially the last, which has an ethereal quality seldom associated with astronomy but captures the wonder of it.

  3. Posted September 20, 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    All are best but last one fantastic

  4. Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I was pleased to see that Gerald Rhemann, a friend of mine from Vienna, won with a photo of Comet Catalina. Comets are Gerald’s forte. He does most of his astrophotography from about 35 km outside Vienna and in the Kalahari Desert, Namibia.

  5. GBJames
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    They’re all very nice but I do have to say the first one is especially excellent!

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted September 22, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      The minute I saw it I thought of you!

  6. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    All very good, but I can see how the judges might grant the Bailey’s beads picture to be the overall winner. It may not be the most beautiful, but it is a very unusual depiction, precisely captured. There would be no easy 2nd chances getting that shot.

  7. rickflick
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    All delightful.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Great pictures! That “man in the moon” photo would make great poster art for the third in a trilogy with “An American Werewolf in London” and “An American Werewolf in Paris” — maybe “An American Werewolf in Madrid”?

    This American would gladly risk lycanthropy to take a gorgeous pic like that …

  9. Posted September 21, 2016 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Excellent! My favorite: the meteors.

  10. Gareth Price
    Posted September 21, 2016 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    The winner didn’t do much for me either; it looks like a piece of aluminium tubing which has been cut strangely. But some of the others are fabulous.

  11. Posted September 21, 2016 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Oh man, I love this one: “Wing Ka Ho’s City Lights shows the light trails of stars passing over Hong Kong’s tightly packed streets” from the BBC website.

  12. Mike
    Posted September 21, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I like the first one and the “man in the moon”
    Truth be told,I like them all,but these two stand out for me.

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