Astronomy photo exhibition opening in October

An exhibition showcasing the winners of an astronomy photography award will open in October.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich’s title of Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 awards have been announced and the winning images will be included in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum on October 23.

French photographer Nicolas Lefaudeux has beaten thousands of amateur and professional photographers from around the globe to win the top award.

As well as securing the £10,000 top prize, his image takes pride of place in the exhibition of winning photographs opening at the National Maritime Museum on October, 23.

The judges were captivated by Lefaudeux’s awe-inspiring image. Taken in Forges-les-Bains, Île-de-France, the photograph depicts a version of the Andromeda Galaxy seemingly at arm’s length.

Competition judge Ed Robinson said: “To most of us, our closest neighbouring galaxy Andromeda can also feel so distanced and out of reach.

“Yet to create a photograph that gives us the impression that it is just within our physical reach is truly magical, and somewhat appropriate as we adjust after such socially distanced times“.

Winning images of the other categories and special prizes include the breath-taking Aurora Borealis above Hamn i Senja, Skaland, in Norway by Nicholas Roemmelt; the image taken by Łukasz Sujka of the alignment of our moon and Jupiter; a remarkable illustration of the satellite trails between earth and the Albireo double star, which photographer Rafael Schmall managed to capture; and Best Newcomer Bence Toth’s stunning image of the central region of the California Nebula.

The captivating Dark River by Julie F. Hill (UK) has been named as the inaugural winner of the Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation.

Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder, astronomer at Royal Museums Greenwich and judge for the competition, said: “The global situation made judging and shortlisting extremely challenging this year, particularly with judges spread across different countries.

“However the photographs have exceeded our expectations and the innovation demonstrated by the entrants has been phenomenal.”

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