Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012


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  • @kajalkumar , thank you !
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  • wonderful pictures!! .... hope for many such presentations in future ...
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  • Wonderful presentation, as usual, dear Olga!!! Thanks for sharing and congratulations. Wish you a beautiful day! Best greetings from Greece. I wish you also a wonderful week end. Nikos
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  • Preciosa colección de fotografías astronómicas con bellísima música, que nos hace pensar en lo insignificantes que somos ante la inmensidad de nuestro universo. Felicitaciones y muchas gracias.
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  • Nos creemos el ombligo del Universo, pero me da miedo ver lo insignificantes que somos ante el. Bonita musica y espectaculares imagenes Guimera.
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Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012

  1. Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012 winners
  2. Australian based photographer MartinPugh impressed the judges in this year’scompetition with the depth and clarity of hiswinning shot depicting the famousWhirlpool Galaxy (M51). The imagecombines incredible detail in the galaxy’sspiral arms with the faint tails of light thatshow M51’s small companion galaxy beinggradually torn apart by the gravity of itsgiant neighbour; a closer look also revealsmore distant galaxies beyond.Deep Space category winner, and overallwinner: M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy byMartin Pugh (Australia)Picture: Martin Pugh
  3. Deep Space: The Smoking Sword ©Michael Sidonio (Australia)To the naked eye the Orion Nebulaappears as a small patch of hazy lightamongst the stars of Orions sword. Thetrue scale and complexity of the Nebulaonly becomes apparent when viewedthrough a telescope. In the centre of thenebula newly-formed stars blast theirsurroundings with
  4. Earth and Space category winner: Star Icefall byMasahiro Miyasaka (Japan). Taken in Nagano,Japan, this image shows Orion, Taurus and thePleiades as the backdrop to an eerie frozenlandscape. Though the stars appear to gleam witha cold, frosty light, bright blue stars like thePleiades can be as hot as 30,000 degreesCelsius.Picture: Masahiro Miyasaka
  5. Earth and Space category runner-up:Green World by Arild Heitmann (Norway).The aurora borealis traces the shiftingpatterns of the Earth’s magnetic field,creating a spectacular midwinter show inNordland Fylke, Norway. The green light inthis image comes from oxygen atoms highin the atmosphere, which have beenenergised by subatomic particles from theSolar Wind.Picture: Arild Heitmann
  6. People and Space category runner-up:Lost in Yosemite [C 033706] by StevenChristenson (USA). The photographercame across two hikers lost in thewilderness of Yosemite late one evening inJuly 2011. He captured this image of thetiny figures in a small bubble of torchlightset within a vast, pitch black forest beneaththe immense dome of the sky. It highlightsthe wonder, beauty and awe of astronomy.Picture: Steven Christenson
  7. Young Astronomy Photographer categoryrunner-up: Daytime Lunar Mosaic byLaurent V Joli-Coeur (Canada, aged 15).This young photographer has knittedtogether several high resolution images ofthe Moon in the daytime sky to form acolourful mosaic. This wonderfully detailedview shows the smooth dark maria (lunar‘seas’) and lighter, bumpier highlands ofthe Moon, both dotted with craters. Thepeaceful blue colour of the daytime sky iscaused by scattering of blue light in theEarth’s atmosphere.Picture: Laurent V Joli-Coeur
  8. Deep Space category runner-up: Simeis 147Supernova Remnant by Rogelio Bernal Andreo(USA). The photographer here set out to shownot only the main subject of the image – a vastsupernova remnant – but also the objects in thewide starscape that surrounds it. Straddling theconstellations of Auriga and Taurus, Simeis 147consists of the expanding debris of a massivestar which exploded around 40,000 years ago.As the wreckage continues to spread out intospace it collides violently with the dust and gasbetween the stars, sculpting it into the glowingshells and filaments which have earned Simeis147 the nickname of the ‘Spaghetti Nebula’.
  9. Earth and Space category highlycommended: The Milky Way View from thePiton de lEau, Reunion Island by LucPerrot (Reunion Island). The Milky Wayarches over a mirror-like lake on the islandof Reunion. At the bottom of the picturePiton des Neiges, the highest peak ofReunion Island, can be seen. The brightpatch to the left of the image marks thebulge of stars at the heart of our Galaxy.The photographer waited two years beforeall the combined conditions werefavourable to succeed with this photo.Picture: Luc Perrot
  10. Our Solar System category highlycommended: Venus Transit by Paul Haese(Australia). Perhaps the biggestastronomical event of 2012 was the transitof Venus, which took place in June.Transits occur when Venus passes directlybetween the Earth and the Sun, appearingas a small black disc passing across theface of our parent star. They occur in pairs,eight years apart, with each pair separatedby over a century. The previous transit wasin 2004 and the next will not be untilDecember 2117. This is a spectacular viewof the active Sun, streaked and blotchedwith filaments, sunspots and prominences.Venus, a world almost exactly the samesize as the Earth, seems dwarfed by thescale and power of our local star.Picture: Paul Haese
  11. Earth and Space category highlycommended: Sky away from the Lights byTunç Tezel (Turkey). Dark mountain peaksframe two distinct lightscapes - the distantglow of towns and villages, and the majesticstar fields of The Milky Way. Making themost of an August night, the photographergot this shot after trekking out to the UludagNational Park near his hometown of Bursa,Turkey.Picture: Tunç Tezel
  12. Deep Space: IC 1396 - Elephant-TrunkNebula © Bill Snyder (USA)This picture shows the column of dustknown as the Elephants Trunk in theconstellation of Cepheus. Deep within thedense clumps of dust and gas that makeup the trunk new stars are currentlyforming.
  13. Earth and Space: Sky Show © TommyEliassen (Norway)The dazzling Aurora Borealis over HøgtuvaMountain in Norway. The Earths magneticfield funnels particles from the Solar Winddown over the planets polar regions. Morethan 80 kilometres above the ground,these particles collide with atoms andmolecules of gas in our
  14. People and Space: Its Raining Stars ©Miguel Claro (Portugal)This time-lapse shows how the starsappear to move across the sky as theEarth rotates. In a humorous touch, anobserver appears to use an umbrella toshelter from the star trails, whilst Jupiter isalso visible on the right of the silhouette.
  15. Sunny Airlines by Dunja Zupanic (Croatia).A chance alignment superimposes a jetand its twin vapour trails against the disc ofthe Sun. Also visible is an enormoussunspot complex, a region of the Sun’ssurface in which intense magnetic fieldsare suppressing the upwelling of heat fromthe solar interior. Sunspot activity has beenincreasing in 2012 as the Sun approachesthe peak of its eleven year-cycle.Picture: © Dunja Zupanic (Croatia)
  16. Deep Space: Cygnus © J-P Metsävainio (Finland)This mosaic image reveals a huge swathe of thesky in the constellation of Cygnus. Huge clouds ofcolourful glowing gas and lanes of dark duststretch across the field of view. Their light is toofaint to register with the human eye, but longexposure times and special filters allow us toappreciate their grandeur and scale.
  17. Earth and Space: Double Arch with aPerseid Meteor and the Milky Way ©Thomas OBrien (USA)A meteor captured streaking across the skyabove Arches National Park, Utah, duringthe annual Perseid meteor shower. ThePerseids is one of the most prolificshowers, often with around 80 meteors anhour during its peak.
  18. Our Solar System: Active Sol © PaulHaese (Australia)This image shows solar activity including ahuge solar prominence. 2012 saw the Sunmoving towards the peak of its elevenyear-cycle of activity following an unusuallylong and quiet lull. Sunspots, explosiveflares and prominences are much morecommon than in previous years.
  19. Our Solar System: 116 megapixel MoonMosaic © David Campbell (UK)A multi-image mosaic of the Moon, which isour nearest neighbour in space andtherefore appears larger in our sky thanany other astronomical object apart fromthe Sun. Even a telescope of quite modestmagnification will only show a part of theMoons surface at one time, meaning thatmulti-image mosaics such as this
  20. Deep Space category highly commended:NGC 6960 - The Witchs Broom by RobertFranke (USA). Part of the Veil Nebula, the‘Witch’s Broom’ is the glowing debris from asupernova explosion – the violent death of amassive star. Although the supernovaoccurred several thousand years ago, thegaseous debris is still expanding outwards,producing this vast cloud-like structure. Inthis image narrowband filters have beenused to greatly increase detail while giving areasonable representation of the nebulascolour.
  21. Earth and Space category highlycommended: Summer Nights in Michiganby Michael A Rosinski (USA). This long-exposure image contrasts the regulararcs of star trails with the chaoticswarming of fireflies - celestial, naturaland manmade light are captured in asingle photograph.Picture: Michael ARosinski
  22. Our Solar System category winner: Transitof Venus 2012 in Hydrogen-Alpha by ChrisWarren (UK). Perhaps the biggestastronomical event of 2012 was the transitof Venus, which took place in June.Transits occur when Venus passes directlybetween the Earth and the Sun, appearingas a small black disc passing across theface of our parent star. The next transit willnot take place for 105 years, in December2117. This is a single unprocessed rawframe shot using a hydrogen-alpha (Ha)filter. It was captured early on the morningof 6 June between second and thirdcontact, the photographer’s first and onlyglimpse taken through a thin patch in theclouds at Blackheath in London. The imagecaptures the excitement of the 2012 transitof Venus, and the delight of observers inthe UK who managed to catch a fleetingview despite the British weather.Picture: Chris Warren
  23. Our Solar System category highlycommended: Comet C2009 P1 Garradd byGraham Relf (UK). Comet Garradd wasdiscovered in 2009 as it approached theinner Solar System. It became visiblethrough binoculars in 2011 but has neverbeen visible to the naked eye. To bring outthe greenish glow of the comet’s halo thephotographer has used a long exposure.The star trails show how he has trackedthe comet’s orbital motion to keep it in thecentre of the frame and the pictureillustrates how the comet moved relative tothe stars in 38 minutes.Picture: Graham Relf
  24. Deep Space category highly commended:Sharpless-136: Ghost in Cepheus by OlegBryzgalov (Ukraine). The spooky shapesthat seem to haunt this starry expanse arein fact cosmic dust clouds that fill hugevolumes of space between the stars. Thedust consists of tiny grains of minerals andices and is an important building block forthe formation of future stars and planets.The photographer had to travel 1,000kilometres into the mountains of theCrimea to find a sky dark enough tocapture this image.Picture: Oleg Bryzgalov
  25. Deep Space category highly commended:The Perseus Cluster - Abell 426 by RobertFranke (USA). Situated almost 250 millionlight-years away from us, The PerseusCluster, also known as Abell 426, containsmore than 500 catalogued galaxies. Someare spirals like the Milky Way while othersare giant, smooth elliptical systems.Together they form one of the largeststructures in the Universe. Each smudge oflight in this photograph contains millions, ifnot billions, of stars.Picture: Robert Franke
  26. Our Solar System category runner-up:Mars in 2012 by Damian Peach (UK). Thissequence of photographs, taken in March2012, uses the rotation of Mars to build upa complete view of the planet’s surface. Itshows the gleaming north polar cap offrozen water and carbon dioxide, the redequatorial deserts and the darker southernhighlands. The photographer has capturedan amazing level of detail, including wispyclouds in the thin Martian atmosphere.Picture: Damian Peach
  27. Our Solar System category highlycommended: Worlds of the Solar Systemby Damian Peach (UK). This portraitgallery features four of our planetaryneighbours in exquisite detail: the slendercrescent Venus on 28 May; Mars on 29February showing the famous Syrtis Majorfeature at the centre and brilliant cloudsover the Elysium Mons volcano on theright; Jupiter on 1 February showingGanymede in transit, with Europa on theright, and its shadow cast onto the planet;Saturn close to opposition from 21 Aprilshowing the remains of the giant stormfrom the year before, as well as fine detailswithin the ring system. The photographershows the relative sizes of the planets asthey appear to an observer on Earth. Inreality Jupiter and Saturn would dwarf theother planets, but they are both muchfurther away from us.Picture: Damian Peach
  28. Young Astronomy Photographer categorywinner: Pleiades Cluster by Jacob vonChorus (Canada, aged 15). Among thenearest star clusters to Earth, the stars ofthe Pleiades (Messier 45) are easily seenwith the naked eye in the Northernhemisphere’s winter skies. While it is oftencalled the Seven Sisters, this beautifulphotograph reveals many more of the hot,young stars which comprise the cluster.The young photographer has also capturedthe swirling wisps of a diaphanous gascloud through which the cluster is currentlypassing, lighting it with reflected starlight. Itwas taken near dusk, with two frames andan hour of exposure.Picture: Jacob von Chorus
  29. Young Astronomy Photographer categoryhighly commended: Heavenly Showers byJathin Premjith (India, aged 15). Thisphotograph from the Young category of thecompetition skilfully frames the streaming,swirling patters of the Northern Lights withtreetops below and a starry sky above. Inthe centre of the image, which was taken inthe far North, close to the Arctic Circle,Orion the hunter is just visible through thebright auroral display. Taurus the bull andthe bright Pleiades star cluster are seen inthe clear area to the upper right.Picture: Jathin Premjith
  30. Young Astronomy Photographer categoryhighly commended: Lunar Mountains byJacob Marchio (USA, aged 13). This skilledyoung astrophotographer has captured abeautifully sharp and artfully framed detailof the Moon. The terminator – whichseparates the daytime and night-time partsof the Moon – is aligned with the bottomedge of the photograph. The Sun’s lightshines at a low angle onto the surface ofthe Moon just above this line, showing thecontrast between smooth maria (lunar‘seas’) and rugged crater rims to the bestadvantage.Picture: Jacob Marchio
  31. People and Space category winner: FacingVenus-Jupiter Close Conjunction byLaurent Laveder (France). This picture wastaken on the wet sand at low tide on thebeach at Tréguennec in North West Franceand shows the conjunction of Venus andJupiter. One of the astronomical highlightsof 2012, the conjunction was the periodwhen the two bright planets appearedconspicuously close together in the sky.Their apparent closeness was an opticalillusion – Jupiter was in fact millions ofkilometres further away than Venus. Thephotographer is pictured in the lower rightcorner of the frame and the Pleiades andTaurus are also visible on the upper left.Picture: Laurent Laveder
  32. Best Newcomer category winner:Elephants Trunk with Ananas by LórándFényes (Hungary). The Elephant’s Trunkseems to uncoil from the dusty nebula onthe right of the image, its tip curled arounda cavity carved out by the radiationproduced by young stars. Capturing a deepsky object like this takes skill andpainstaking attention to detail and is agreat achievement for a newcomer toastrophotography.Picture: Lóránd Fényes
  33. Robotic Scope category winner: TheSunflower Galaxy by Thomas Read (UK,aged 12). A spiral system like the MilkyWay, Messier 63 has arms which encirclethe yellowish centre of the galaxy like thepetals of a flower, earning it the nicknameof the Sunflower Galaxy. This image wascaptured by the young photographer usingthe Bradford Robotic Telescope in Tenerife,which he controlled over the internet.Picture: Thomas Read
  34. Young Astronomy Photographer of theYear: Stargazers © Jessica Caterson (UK),AGED 15This is a self-portrait of the photographer(far right) with her friends at her caravansite in the Gower Peninsular, Wales.Several short exposures were aligned andcombined to capture the crisp stars anddark sky, while minimising trailing due tothe Earths rotation; the visible progress ofthe aeroplane in the upper right
  35. cast Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012images credit www.Music "Prelude to Paradise", "Black Blade", "Heart of Courage”created o.e.thanks for watching end