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.”