The Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition has reached its 10th edition and it continues to go from strength to strength. The overall winner for 2018 is Brad Goldpaint, who won £10,000 (around $13,000) for his breathtaking image titled Transport the Soul, a truly extraordinary picture combining the red rocks of Moab, Utah, with the backdrop of the Milky Way on the right and its sibling galaxy, Andromeda on the left. The galaxies frame the center of the composition where a quarter of the Moon brightens the sky as the lone photographer captures, remotely, this image.
Goldpaint is also the winner of the People & Space category, one of the 11 categories for which prizes are awarded. Each category has a winner, a runner-up, and one or several special commendations. Anyone worldwide can submit photos to the competition and this year the Royal Observatory Greenwich has received over 4,200 entries from 91 countries across the globe.
“With a competition that keeps on flourishing over the years, the growing community of amateur astrophotographers have time after time surprised us with technically accomplished, playfully imaginative and astoundingly beautiful images that sit at the intersection of art and science. This year did not disappoint," Dr Melanie Vandenbrouck, Curator of Art at Royal Museums Greenwich and judge for the competition, said in a statement.
"To pick just 31 winners from the 134 shortlisted images was fiendishly difficult! Their mesmerising, often astonishing photographs, show us the exquisite complexity of space, and movingly convey our place in the universe. And to see our young winners compete with seasoned photographers in their skill, imagination, and aesthetic sense, remains the greatest reward of all.”
All 31 of the selected photographs will be displayed in a major special exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in London, UK, which is part of Royal Museums Greenwich. The exhibition also includes 69 incredible photos from previous years.
The winning entries for each category can be seen below.
Aurorae - Nicolas Lefaudeux (France) with Speeding on the Aurora Lane
Galaxies - Steven Mohr (Australia) with NGC 3521, Mysterious Galaxy
Our Moon - Jordi Delpeix Borrell (Spain) with Inverted Colours of the boundary between Mare Serenitatis and Mare Tranquilitatis
Our Sun - Nicolas Lefaudeux (France) with Sun King, Little King, and God of War
Planets, Comets, and Asteroids - Martin Lewis (UK) with The Grace of Venus
Skyscapes - Ferenc Szémár (Hungary) with Circumpolar
Stars and Nebulae - Mario Cogo (Italy) with Corona Australis Dust Complex
Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year - Fabian Dalpiaz (Italy – aged 15) with Great Autumn Morning
Special Prize: The Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer - Tianhong Li (China) with Galaxy Curtain Call Performance
Special Prize: Robotic Scope - Damian Peach (UK) with Two Comets with the Pleiades