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30 July 2017

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition entries

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Uluru under the Milky Way. Picture: Toi Wu Yip (Hong Kong) Taken on the photographer’s first visit to Uluru, it was winter in the Southern Hemisphere and the sky had turned dark before the closing of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. After all the other tourists left once they had finished watching the famous Uluru sunset, the photographer was left alone wait for the night show to start. Eventually the Milky Way came out and appeared above the giant red rock; the sky was so clear that some airglow could be seen above the horizon. Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia, 7 July 2016

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Mr Big Dipper. Picture: Nicholas Roemmelt (Denmark) A stargazer observes the constellation of the Big Dipper perfectly aligned with the window of the entrance to a large glacier cave in Engadin, Switzerland. This is a panorama of two pictures, and each is a stack of another two pictures: one for the stars and another one for the foreground, but with no composing or time blending.

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Reflection . Picture:Beate Behnke (Germany) The reflection in the wave ripples of Skagsanden beach mirrors the brilliant green whirls of the Aurora Borealis in the night sky overhead. To obtain the effect of the shiny surface, the photographer had to stand in the wave zone of the incoming flood, and only when the water receded very low did the opportunity to capture the beautiful scene occur. Skagsanden, Lofoten, Norway, 28 October 2016

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Beautiful Trømso . Picture: Derek Burdeny (USA) The aurora activity forecast was low for this evening, so the photographer remained in Tromsø rather than driving to the fjord. The unwitting photographer captured Nature’s answer to a stunning firework display as the Northern Lights dance above a rainbow cast in the waters of the harbour in Trømso made for a spectacular display, but did not realize what he had shot until six months later when reviewing his images. Tromsø, Norway, 7 March 2016

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: A Battle We Are Losing . Picture: Haitong Yu (China) The Milky Way rises ominously above a small radio telescope from a large array at Miyun Station, National Astronomical Observatory of China, in the suburbs of Beijing. The image depicts the ever-growing light pollution we now experience, which together with electromagnetic noise has turned many optical and radio observatories near cities both blind and deaf – a battle that inspired the photographer’s title of the shot. The image used a light pollution filter (iOptron L-Pro) and multiple frame stacking to get the most of the Milky Way out of the city light. Beijing, China, 2 March 2017

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Auroral Crown . Picture: Yulia Zhulikova (Russia) During an astrophotography tour of the Murmansk region with Stas Korotkiy, an amateur astronomer and popularizer of astronomy in Russia, the turquoise of the Aurora Borealis swirls above the snow covered trees. Illuminated by street lamps, the trees glow a vivid pink forming a contrasting frame for Nature’s greatest lightshow. Murmansk, Russia, 3 January 2017

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Fall Milk . Picture: Brandon Yoshizawa (USA) The snow-clad mountain in the Eastern Sierras towers over the rusty aspen grove aligned perfectly in front of it, whilst our galaxy the Milky Way glistens above. Eastern Sierras, California, USA, 21 October 2016

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: NGC 2170: Dust and Reflections . Picture: Steven Mohr (Australia) This very unusual but beautiful reflection nebula can be found in the constellation of Monoceros. Adjoining NGC 2170 is a dense red emission region, while flowing overhead, and dispersing in numerous directions, are fluttering ribbons of pronounced dense dust, which sit in the foreground of the gentle red emission nebula LBN999. To the lower right of the image, the scene is shared with the delicate reflection nebula NGC 2182. The image is a composition of luminance, red, green and blue filters, which were then processed in CCDStack, CCDBand-Aid, Photoshop, PixInsight, and StarTools. Central Victoria, Australia, 3 March 2017

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Crescent Moon over Mount Banks . Picture: Luke Tscharke (Australia) In the Blue Mountains, the photographer jumped out of his sleeping bag, and left the campsite to see an early morning cloud inversion had swept across the Grose Valley, dancing as a soft warm breeze pushed it along its way. The galactic core of the Milky Way was visible above the waning crescent Moon, seemingly stacked over the silhouetted summit of Mount Banks. In the distance, beyond the city lights of Sydney, a brightening patch on the horizon indicated the rising Sun was soon to appear. The best things in life may be free but they do sometimes require an early alarm! Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales, Australia, 6 March 2016

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Super Moon . Picture: Giorgia Hofer (Italy) The magnificent sight of the Super Moon illuminating the night sky as it sets behind the Marmarole, in the heart of the Dolomites in Italy. On the night of 14 November 2016, the Moon was at perigee at 356.511 km away from the centre of Earth, the closest occurrence since 1948. It will not be closer again until 2034. On this night, the Moon was 30% brighter and 14% bigger than other full moons. Laggio di Cadore, Province of Belluno, Italy, 15 November 2016

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Shooting Star and Jupiter . Picture: Rob Bowes (UK) A shooting star flashes across the sky over the craggy landscape of Portland, Dorset, as our neighbouring planet Jupiter looks on. The image is of two stacked exposures: one for the sky and one for the rocks. Portland, Dorset, UK, 25 March 2017

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Eastern Prominence . Picture: Paul Andrew (UK) A large, searing hedgerow prominence extends from the surface of the Sun on 29 August 2016. There are a number of different prominence types that have been observed emanating from the Sun, and the hedgerow prominence is so called due the grouping of small prominences resembling rough and wild shrubbery. Dover, Kent, UK, 29 August 2016

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Solar Trails above the Telescope © Maciej Zapior (Poland) Taken with a solargraphy pinhole camera, the image charts the movement of the Sun over the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague with an exposure of half a year (21 December 2015–21 June 2016). As a photosensitive material, regular black-and-white photographic paper without developing was used, and after exposure the negative was scanned and post-processed using a graphic program (colour and contrast enhancement). The exposure time was from solstice to solstice, thus recording the solar trails above the telescope dome and the rainbow of colours of the trails are the result of the sensitivity of the paper changing as it is exposed to different temperatures and humidity.

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: The Road Back Home. Picture:Ruslan Merzlyakov (Latvia) Noctilucent clouds stretch across the Swedish sky illuminating a motorcyclist’s ride home in this dramatic display. Noctilucent clouds are the highest clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere and form above 200,000 ft. Thought to be formed of ice crystals, the clouds occasionally become visible at twilight when the Sun is below the horizon and illuminates them. Near Umeå, Sweden, 8 August 2016

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: NGC 2170: Dust and Reflections . Picture: Steven Mohr (Australia) This very unusual but beautiful reflection nebula can be found in the constellation of Monoceros. Adjoining NGC 2170 is a dense red emission region, while flowing overhead, and dispersing in numerous directions, are fluttering ribbons of pronounced dense dust, which sit in the foreground of the gentle red emission nebula LBN999. To the lower right of the image, the scene is shared with the delicate reflection nebula NGC 2182. The image is a composition of luminance, red, green and blue filters, which were then processed in CCDStack, CCDBand-Aid, Photoshop, PixInsight, and StarTools. Central Victoria, Australia, 3 March 2017

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Crescent Moon over the Needles . Picture: Ainsley Bennett (UK) The 7% waxing crescent Moon setting in the evening sky over the Needles Lighthouse at the western tip of the Isle of Wight. Despite the Moon being a thin crescent, the rest of its shape is defined by sunlight reflecting back from the Earth’s surface. Alum Bay, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, UK, 3 October 2016

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: ISS Daylight Transit . Picture: Dani Caxete (Spain) The International Space Station (ISS) whizzes across the dusky face of the Earth’s natural satellite, the Moon, whilst photographed in broad daylight. Shining with a magnitude of -3.5, the ISS was illuminated by the Sun at a height of 9º on the horizon. Like the Moon, the ISS receives solar rays in a similar way during its 15 orbits of the Earth a day, making it possible to see it when the Sun is still up. This is a real shot, with no composite or clipping in the process. Madrid, Spain, 2 April 2017

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist selection: Tarantula Colours . Picture: Diego Colonnello (Venezuela) The Tarantula Nebula or 30 Doradus is an H II region, or a region of interstellar atomic hydrogen that has been ionized, that is found in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Although it is about 160,000 light years away, the Tarantula Nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8, meaning that is an extremely luminous object, and if it were as close to our planet as the Orion Nebula is, it would actually cast visible shadows. Airport West, Victoria, Australia, 10 February 2017

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