The winners of the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 were announced recently. And the winning photographs are breathtaking.
The 2020 awards ceremony was streamed live from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich for the first time ever.
French photographer Nicolas Lefaudeux was awarded the overall winner for his stunning picture of the Andromeda Galaxy. Captured in Forges-les-Bains, Ile-de-France, the image won the 10, 000 pound award.
This image has certainly been my favourite in this year’s competition and also one that gives me a big smile every time I view it. – Ed Robinson, award-winning photographer, creative director and visual consultant.
Here are the images that won the awards in various other categories of the competition.
Winner of Our Moon category: Tycho Crater Region with Colours, by Alain Paillou from France
This vibrant image teases out the faint colours on the surface of the Moon. Not only is this composition visually striking, but it highlights the different materials the Moon is made up of, all from the safety of the Earth. – Emily Drabek-Maunder, astrophysicist, astronomer and science communicator at Royal Observatory Greenwich
Winner of Our Sun category: Liquid Sunshine, by Alexandra Hart from the UK
This is a stunning example of how the ‘quiet’ Sun is never truly quiet. While the Sun may be less active, the nuclear fusion ongoing below its surface sustains all life on our little world. – Emily Drabek-Maunder, astrophysicist, astronomer and science communicator at Royal Observatory Greenwich
Winner of Aurorae category: The Green Lady, by Nicholas Roemmelt from Germany
This was such a dramatic image, with the ‘green lady’ appearing to take flight above the mountains and illuminated water’s edge. I liked the way the landscape was dwarfed by the dominant aurora and yet the forms and colours of the composition echoed above with below. This was one of my favourite images. – Susan Derges, fine art photographer
Winner of Skyscapes category: Painting the Sky, by Thomas Kast from Germany
Clouds are said to be the bane of astronomers, but they can also be the inspiration for a breathtaking astrophoto. These rare, incredibly high nacreous clouds reflect colour like oil does on water and this photographer has captured them perfectly. With subtle processing they have brought out the vibrant hues that can sometimes be seen in our skies. – Steve Marsh, Art Editor at the BBC Sky at Night Magazine
Winner of Stars and Nebulae category: Cosmic Inferno, by Peter Ward from Australia
Creation, elements, fire, brimstone and wonder. This astonishing image conjures up these pictures that also represent the first moments of the Universe, before stars were formed. It’s a moving reminder that when we look up to the night sky, we tend to do so with earthly concerns on our minds, whether unconsciously or consciously as seen here. The tragedy of the 2019 bushfires in Australia shook people around the world; in the age of climate change, this extraordinarily beautiful picture urges us not to let our children’s future go up in flames. – Melanie Vandenbrouck, Curator of Art (post-1800) at Royal Museums Greenwich
To have a look at more awe inspiring images from the competition, click here.
What is the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition?
The Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year is the largest international competition of its kind. It is an annual exhibition showcasing the world’s greatest space photography.
The inaugural competition took place in 2009 and has expanded significantly since.
How did you like these images? Do let us know your views in the comments section below.