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Into the Shadow, showing the moon during January’s lunar eclipse (László Francsics)

Hungarian photographer László Francsics has been named the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019 by the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Mr Francsics scooped the prize with his ‘Into the Shadow’ image, showing a composition of the 35 phases of the lunar eclipse that took place in January.

As well as having the image exhibited at the National Maritime Museum, László also picked up £10,000 in prize money.

Competition judge Ed Robinson said: ‘For a single multiple-exposure image to capture this event with such positional precision, creative innovation and beauty is nothing short of masterful. The colours of our atmosphere projected onto the Moon’s disc during the eclipse are not only artistically pleasing but also offer an understanding of such events that can reveal aspects of our own, thin, yet essential part of our atmosphere.

‘In a year that celebrates 50 years since the first lunar landings it is fitting that this year’s overall winning image captures such a dynamic and captivating view of our Moon.’

Nicolai Bruegger hiked in the snow to the top of the mountain Offersykammen in Norway, to witness and capture the aurora over the Lofoten Islands. (Nicolai Bruegger)

Winning images from other categories and special prizes included a remarkable panorama taken from the top of the mountain Offersøykammen, showcasing the Aurora Borealis over the Lofoten Islands in Norway, by Nicolai Brügger from Germany.

Also included was an atmospheric image depicting UK photographer Ben Bush with his dog Floyd surrounded by Mars, Saturn and the galactic core of the Milky Way galaxy; and an extraordinary sequence of images of Mars, that follows the progress of the great global dust storm, by Andy Casely from Australia.

Ben, Floyd and the Core shows UK photographer Ben with his dog Floyd surrounded by Mars, Saturn and the galactic core of the Milky Way galaxy (Ben Bush)

In the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category, 11-year-old Davy van der Hoeven from the Netherlands is taking home the top prize for his remarkable deep sky image of the Rosette Nebula, a mesmerising flower-shaped nebula, located in the constellation Monoceros, that lies 5,000 light-years from Earth.

Tom Kerss, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory and judge for the competition, said: ‘Every year the standard rises, and entrants continue to find creative new ways to express their artistry.

‘This year’s selection contains so many unique approaches to astrophotography – real love letters to the art form, which stay with you long after you’ve seen them.’

Stellar Flower (Davy van der Hoeven)

‘I’m looking forward to the discussions these images will inspire about our shared sky, and the ever-expanding field of capturing and interpreting it.

‘With such a beautiful collection to talk about, the competition really has become astrophotography’s ‘World Cup’.’

You can find all the winners on the competition’s website but here are a few more of our favourites:

This is a close-up of our neighbouring Andromeda Galaxy made with a mosaic of three photographs. (Raul Villaverde Fraile)
This mystical image of withered poplar trees was taken in the Mongolian region of Ejina, in the historical Kingdom of Xi Xia. (Wang Zheng)
This image is a stacked star trail, combined to show an hour and a quarter of the Earth’s rotation through space and time. (James Stone)
The Elephant Trunk Nebula (vdB 142) is part of a region of star formation that lies 2,450 light years away in the constellation of Cepheus and, according to the photographer, is probably one of the most beautiful nebulae that is actively forming stars (Luis Romero Ventura)





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