The winners of the 15th annual ‘Astronomy Photographer of the Year’ competition have been announced, showcasing the incredible talent of amateur astrophotographers from around the world. With over 4,000 entries from 64 countries, the 2023 competition was a fierce and awe-inspiring display of space photography.
Taking home the coveted overall winner title is a photograph of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and an accompanying arc of plasma, previously unseen by human eyes. This stunning image was captured near Nancy, France by a team comprising of Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner, and Yann Sainty.
In the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category, two fourteen-year-old boys from China impressed judges with their captivating image of the Running Chicken Nebula. Their talent at such a young age is truly remarkable and demonstrates the universal fascination with space.
Meanwhile, Andrew McCarthy earned the Runner-Up prize in the ‘People and Space’ category for his striking photograph of the International Space Station against the backdrop of the Tycho Crater on the Moon. Katie McGuinness also received recognition in the same category for her photograph of Haslingden’s Halo sculpture in Lancashire, England.
Angel An emerged as the winner in the ‘Skyscapes’ category, impressing the judges with his breathtaking photograph of sprites dancing above the majestic Himalaya Mountains. Meanwhile, Mehmet Ergün’s photograph of a large solar flare on the Sun was Highly Commended in ‘The Sun’ category, and Tom Williams captured the shadows on the lunar surface in his Runner-Up photograph in ‘The Moon’ category.
Adding a touch of innovation to the competition, John White’s sonification of a black hole in the Perseus Galaxy earned him the prestigious Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation.
For those eager to witness these incredible photographs in person, an exhibition of the winning photos will open at the National Maritime Museum in the UK on September 16, 2023. This annual competition is organized by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, supported by Liberty Specialty Markets, and in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine.
The ‘Astronomy Photographer of the Year’ competition continues to inspire and amaze, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in capturing the mysteries and wonders of the universe through the lens of a camera. The talent and passion displayed by these amateur astrophotographers serves as a reminder of the beauty that exists beyond our world.
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