The winning image 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.
Winner of the APY 2013 Earth and Space category
The winning 2013 photograph was ‘Guiding Light to the Stars’ by Mark Gee (Australia), taken with a Canon 5D Mark III camera with a 24mm f/2.8 lens. It offers a spectacular view of the Milky Way arching over the coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The brightest light in the image is from the Cape Palliser Lighthouse. The central patch of light in the sky marks the bulge of stars at the heart of our Galaxy, 26,000 light years away. To the left, the two Magellanic Clouds, small satellite galaxies much further away, appear as faint smudges in the sky.
‘I took a wide panorama made up of 20 individual images to get this shot,’ the photographer told us. Stitching the images together was a challenge but the result was worth it!’
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.