The Royal Observatory's Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition has reached its 10th edition and it seems the pictures get better and better every year. Over 4,200 photographs have been submitted this year to participate in one of the nine categories, and the team have noticed a huge increase in the number of young people getting involved in the competition. The winners will be announced on October 23, 2018, and selected images from the shortlist are now available to view online.
The competition is judged by experts from both the art world and the astronomy world, including the Royal Observatory’s Public Astronomer, Dr Marek Kukula, and Editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine, Chris Bramley. More information on the Royal Observatory’s Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 competition can be found on the official website. Below are some of the shortlisted entries we thought were particularly stunning.
An evocative picture of the night sky taken from the underbelly of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacial tongue in Iceland in February.
Guardian of Tre Cime
This panoramic image was made using eight photos and it depicts the Milky Way emerging over the Tre Cime (Italian for three peaks) in the Dolomite mountain chain.
The Great American Eclipse got plenty of attention over the last year and a picture of it couldn't be missed from the competition. This image was made possible by layering nine exposures ranging from two seconds to 1/2000th of a second. This approach gives gorgeous details of the Sun's corona, which is only visible during a total eclipse.
This showstopper image has everything an astronomy fanatic could want. A stunning pink and yellow southern light takes center stage, framed by three galaxies: the Milky Way, the Large Magellanic Cloud, and the Small Magellanic Cloud.
Holy Light II
Aurorae pictures are always evocative and the contrast with the Black Church at Búðir in Iceland is particularly stunning in this image. But don't be fooled by the peaceful picture, the photographer had to battle strong gales to snap this brilliant shot.