The runner-up image for the Our Solar System category of the 2010 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

The Our Solar System category is for photos of our Sun and its family of planets, moons, asteroids and comets. The Moon is a wonderful object to photograph, with constant changes of view throughout the lunar cycle; see our page on How to photograph the Moon for some expert tips. Photographing a comet, meanwhile, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can be achieved with relatively modest equipment; visit How to photograph comets to find out more.

Runner-up of the APY 2010 Our Solar System category

The runner-up in 2010 for this category ‘Jupiter’ by Nick Smith (UK), captured using a Celestron C14 14 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with a Tele Vue 1.8x Barlow lens and a Lumenera SKYnyx 2-0M CCD camera.

Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System. A giant ball of gas with no solid surface, its atmosphere is streaked with colourful bands of cloud.  This image was taken just after a large asteroid plunged into Jupiter’s atmosphere, exploding beneath the clouds. A dark patch near the top of the planet’s disc marks the impact.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is an annual global search for the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos by amateur and professional astrophotographers. The winning images are showcased in a stunning exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. 

Visit the IAPY 2015 exhibition