French photographer Luc Jamet has beaten over a thousand amateur and professional photographers from around the globe to win the title of Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015.
He wins the £2,500 top prize, and his image, Eclipse Totality over Sassendalen, above, takes pride of place in the exhibition of winning photographs, which opened at the Royal Observatory Greenwich on 18 September.
Jamet’s image captured the drama of the total solar eclipse of 20 March 2015, 100 metres above the wintry valley of Sassendalen in the Norwegian territory of Svalbard.
“The total solar eclipse was one of the astronomical highlights of the year and Luc Jamet has captured it perfectly,” Competition judge and Royal Observatory Public Astronomer, Dr Marek Kukula said.
“I love the way that the icy landscape of Svalbard reflects and intensifies the evocative colours of the sky – colours that only occur during the few minutes of totality, and which make any eclipse an unforgettable experience.”
Winners in each category, some placed images and special prizes are featured in the gallery above.
They include an awe-inspiring view of the International Space Station crossing the face of the Moon at approximately 28,800 kilometres an hour by Daniel Fernández Caxete (Spain); a close encounter between our neighbouring red planet Mars and Comet Siding Spring captured using a Robotic Scope by Sebastian Voltmer (Germany); the movement of the Sun over six months tracked through a home-made pinhole camera, taken by Chris Bakley (USA); and a striking portrayal of the stellar nursery that is the Orion Nebula lying 1,300 light years away and the Running Man nebula another 200 light years away, captured from the Elan Valley in Wales by David Tolliday (UK) on his first attempt at astrophotography, earning him the Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer.
In the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category, George Martin, aged 15, won top prize for his image of Comet Lovejoy streaking past the stars of the night sky in a haze of green.
Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in association with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine.
For information about entering next year’s competition visit www.rmg.co.uk/astrophoto
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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