Breathtaking images of the Vela supernova remnant, Saturn's Dragon Storm, and an aurora borealis over Norway won their photographers top honors at this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
On Sept. 8, the Royal Observatory Greenwich, home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian, announced winners from the third annual contest, which drew more than 700 entries. Prizes went to participants from four main categories — Deep Space, Our Solar System, Earth and Space, and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year — as well as three special awards.
Taking both overall winner and top spot in the Our Solar System category was amateur astronomer Damien Peach, who captured Jupiter flanked by two of its moons, Io and Ganymede, in impressive detail. Peach took advantage of exceptionally clear skies in Barbados to create his winning entry.
Other victors entered images of the night sky over a tropical forest split in half by a dazzling Milky Way and a triplet of spiral galaxies congregating in the constellation Leo. Winning the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year accolade was 15-year-old Jathin Premjith from India, who captured the sunset red-stained moon during a lunar eclipse.
Captions courtesy of the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
Winner, Our Solar System
Damian Peach (U.K.)
Jupiter depicted along with two of its 64 known moons, Io and Ganymede, showing the surface of the gas giant streaked with colorful bands and dotted with huge oval storms; detail is also visible on the two moons. The photos that make up this composite image were taken from Barbados where the excellent atmospheric clarity allows for exceptionally clear astronomical pictures.
Image: Jupiter with Io and Ganymede, September 2010 © Damian Peach.