The winning image for the Earth and Space category of the 2011 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
The Earth and Space category is for photos that include landscape, people or other ‘Earthly' things, together with an astronomical subject. Aurora, such as the aurora borealis (northern lights) are popular phenomenon within this category; see How to photograph aurorae if you’d like to try your hand at capturing these awe-inspiring light shows.
Winner of the APY 2011 Earth and Space category
The winning 2011 photograph for Earth and Space was ‘Galactic Paradise’ by Tunç Tezael (Turkey), taken with a Hutech modified Canon 5D DSLR camera with a 24 mm lens.
Forming a dramatic backdrop to a tropical skyline, the Milky Way galaxy contains hundreds of billions of stars in a disc-like structure. Our Sun lies within the disc, about two-thirds of the way out from the centre, so we see it as a bright band encircling the sky. This southern hemisphere view highlights dark clouds of dust that aboriginal Australian astronomers called the ‘Emu in the sky’. This image was taken from Oneroa village on the west coast of Mangaia, Cook Islands.
Judge Will Gater said of the photo: ‘This beautiful image has a truly magical feel to it. I love how the rich star fields of the Milky Way appear to follow the line of the horizon.’
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.