Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014, shortlist

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  • 1. Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014: shortlist
  • 2. The Royal Observatory's annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition highlights outstanding works in astronomical photography around the world, with winners chosen in four categories including Earth and Space, Our Solar System, Deep Space and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year, along with three special prizes including People and Space, The Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer as well as the Robotic Scope Image of the Year. The finalists will be announced on September 17 and the winning images can be viewed in a new exhibition at the Royal Observatory from September 18 until February 2015. We present this year's shortlisted entries.
  • 3. A Giant's Star Trail A composition of several images taken at the famed Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Our planet’s rotation draws the stars out into circles – considered to be the most perfect shape by ancient philosophers. Separated from the sky by the stark line of the horizon, the atomic symmetries of crystallized rock display themselves in the hexagonal columns of the Giant’s Causeway. Picture: Rob Oliver (UK)
  • 4. Cave With Aurora Skylight This image was taken while exploring a 1300m lava cave in Iceland. In some areas the roof has caved in, so snow piles up in the winter time and creates these snow peaks. The aurora at its peak gleams through the roof of the cave and despite only taking up a small portion of the photo, it remains the focal point. Picture: Ingólfur Bjargmundsson (Iceland)
  • 5. Celestial Dance The spectacular Northern Lights pictured unfolding over a fjord, in Skjervøy, Troms, Norway. The vibrant colours are produced at various altitudes by different atmospheric gases, with blue light emitted by nitrogen and green by oxygen. Red light can be produced by both gases, while purples, pinks and yellows occur where the various colours mix and intersect. Picture: Claus Possberg (Germany)
  • 6. Centre of the Heart Nebula Situated 7500 light years away in the ‘W’-shaped constellation of Cassiopeia, the Heart Nebula is a vast region of glowing gas, energized by a cluster of young stars at its centre. The image depicts the central region, where dust clouds are being eroded and moulded into rugged shapes by the searing cosmic radiation.Picture: Ivan Eder (Hungary)
  • 7. Creature On 30 October a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) hit Earth, displaying multi-coloured auroras across the sky for most of the night in Kattfjordeidet, Tromsø, Norway. The old birch trees resemble arms reaching for the auroral corona appearing like a strange creature in the sky. Picture: Ole Christian Salomonsen (Norway)
  • 8. Eclipse and Old Faithful Visitors witness the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park erupt as the Moon partially eclipses the Sun. The scene captures a sense of awe set against blue sky and white geyser steam, as the onlookers strain to see the joining of these two phenomena – one geological and one astronomical.Picture: Robert Howell (USA)
  • 9. Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower over Mount Bromo A bright meteor streaks across the magnificent night sky over the smoke-spewing Mount Bromo just one day before the peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, which is caused by Halley’s Comet. Mount Bromo is one of the most well-known active volcanoes in East Java, Indonesia. Also seen in the photograph are the highest active volcano, Mount Semeru (3676m), and the extinct volcano, Mount Batok, which is located to the right of Mount Bromo. Picture: Justin Ng (Singapore)
  • 10. Father and Son Observe Comet PanSTARRS A father and his young son watch the evening display of Comet PanSTARRS on First Encounter Beach, Eastham, Massachusetts, USA. The photographer had spent weeks preparing the shoot to capture the comet, which will not be seen again for over 100,000 years, in order to foster his son’s interest in astronomy. Picture: Chris Cook (USA)
  • 11. Geminid Fireball The Geminid meteor shower races over the Flatirons of Boulder, Colorado, in December 2012. Here, a larger than usual fragment burns bright enough to outshine all of the planets, producing what is commonly called a Fireball. Orion can also be seen in the photograph trailing across the sky toward the Pleiades and the glow of Jupiter inside the constellation of Taurus. Picture: Patrick Cullis (USA)
  • 12. In-flight Entertainment Resplendent aurora seen from the window of a transatlantic flight between London and New York in February 2014. The photographer balanced his camera on his backpack to capture this image of the greatest natural light show on earth from a rare perspective. Picture: Paul Williams (UK)
  • 13. NGC 6888 This colourful starscape taken from Rancho Hidalgo, New Mexico, USA reveals the searing heat of the Crescent Nebula glowing in a whirl of red and blue. The emission nebula is a colossal shell of material ejected from a powerful but short-lived Wolf-Rayet star (WR 136), seen close to the image centre. Ultraviolet radiation and stellar wind now heats the swelling cloud, causing it to glow. Picture: Mark Hanson (USA)
  • 14. Occultation of Jupiter An unusual daytime view of an astronomical alignment, captured from the photographer’s backyard in Los Polvorines, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The image shows the moments just before the planet Jupiter is blocked from view by the Moon. The planet can be seen as a pale dot to the right of the Moon’s body. Picture: Sebastián Guillermaz (Argentina)
  • 15. Orion Nebula In this view of M42, more commonly known as the Orion Nebula, the photographer has emphasized the delicate veils of dust surrounding the more familiar gleaming heart of the nebula. The image highlights the structure of the object, giving a sense of vast cavities filled with pink hydrogen gas and the blue haze of reflected starlight. Picture: Anna Morris (USA)
  • 16. Oxbow Bend Reflections The Milky Way reflected in the Snake River at the famous Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park. The galaxy is poised just above the horizon mimicking a glowing cloud. Picture: David Kingham (USA)
  • 17. Star Trails on the Beach Multiple shots have been used to produce a time-lapse effect, as the Earth’s rotation draws the light from the stars into long trails arcing over the beach in Mar de Ajo, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Picture: Sebastián Guillermaz (Argentina)
  • 18. The Great Orion Nebula The sprawling stellar nursery of the Orion Nebula situated 1350 light years away and home to stars at diverse stages of their lives, captured by 15 year old Gray Olson. It is one of the brightest nebulae, and is even visible to the naked eye in the night sky making it a popular target for amateur astronomers. Picture: Gray Olson (USA)
  • 19. The Turbulent Heart of the Scorpion A spectacular display of light and shade with contrasting hues of the rarely imaged, colourful, action-packed core of the multiple star system, Rho Ophiuchi. A deep exposure showcases the full finery of the delicate whirling clouds, of an area in which the human eye would struggle to see much detail, even with the use of a telescope. Picture: Rolf Wahl Olsen (New Zealand)
  • 20. Three Planets in Conjunction The staggering colours of the sunset and flora of the African savannah afford a unique background for the planetary alignment of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury in June 2013. The golden hues of the sunrise, the three planets appeared as if they were strung on an invisible thread, and the bare tree and the human figure interwoven both point to one direction: Jupiter. Picture: Lóránd Fényes (Hungary)
  • 21. What the...! A flamboyant flare up of the aurora over Steinsvik beach, in Nordreisa, Troms, Norway. It lasted no more than ten minutes from start to finish but it lit up the entire sky and took the photographer by surprise, just as he was about to leave the shoot. The figure on the right is his brother, furiously searching for his lens cap to capture the same phenomena. It was hard for the photographer not to laugh at his brother while moving the camera left to right capturing the panorama, but luckily he stood still long enough to make the final capture. Picture: Tommy Richardsen (Norway)
  • 22. Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 Images
  • 23. cast Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014: shortlist images credit www. Music Lisa Gerrard created o.e. thanks for watching
  • 24. Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 Winner. Guiding Light to the Stars © Mark Gee end