The highly commended images for the Earth and Space category of the 2013 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.

Highly commended for the APY 2013 Earth and Space category

Three photos were highly commended by the judges for the Earth and Space category:

‘Icy Visitor’ by Fredrik Broms (Norway) shows the nucleus of Comet Panstarrs, with the snowy mountains in the foreground. The nucleus itself is just a few kilometres across but, as it neared the Sun in early 2013, ice evaporating from the surface formed a tail of gas and dust hundreds of thousands of kilometres long.

Also highly commended in 2013 was Dani Caxete’s (Spain) ‘A Quadruple Lunar Halo’, which skillfully highlights how atmospheric phenomena can alter light. The photographer showed how ‘falling ice crystals make the atmosphere into a giant lens, causing arcs and halos to appear around the Sun or Moon.’

‘Snowy Range Perseid Meteor Shower’ by David Kingham (USA) was the third ‘highly commended’ image for this category. The photographer combined 23 individual stills of the Perseid meteors to convey the excitement and dynamism of this natural firework display.

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