The winning 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.

Winner of the APY 2010 Our Solar System category

The overall winner for the Our Solar System category in 2010 was ‘Siberian Totality’ by Anthony Ayiomamitis (Greece), showing a total solar eclipse. It was taken using a Takahashi FSQ-106 106mm refractor telescope on a Celestron CG3 German equatorial mount with a Canon EOS 350D XT DSLR camera.

During a total solar eclipse, the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun. For a few minutes, with the dazzling light of the solar disc blocked from view, we gain a rare glimpse of the corona, the Sun’s outer atmosphere. Powerful magnetic fields warp and shape the super-heated gas of the corona into glowing loops and streamers.

Judge Pete Lawrence said: ‘The processing used maintains an exquisite level of detail right across the corona and delivers a view similar to what would be seen with the human eye. This is something that’s not easy to do with a camera.’

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