The highly commended images for the Our Solar System category of the 2013 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
This 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.
Highly commended for the APY 2013 Our Solar System category
Three photographers were highly commended for their entries: Jia Hao (Singapore), Ignacio Diaz Bobillo (Argentina) and Damian Peach (UK).
Hao’s composite shot, ‘Ring of Fire Sequence’, shows the progress of an annular eclipse – in which a ring, or annulus, of the Sun remains visible – in May 2013. ‘I was blessed with crystal-clear skies on my expedition to Western Australia for the annular eclipse,’ said Hao.
Diaz Bobillo’s image – called ‘Cosmic Alignment: Comet Lemmon, GC 47 Tucanae and the SMC’ – capture three phenomena. These objects were all captured together, providing the viewer with an amazing view of the Solar System, galaxy and Universe. Comet Lemmon only comes into our neighbourhood every 11,000 years.
‘Saturn at Opposition’ by Damian Peach is an incredibly sharp portrait that brilliantly captures the jewel of our solar system, revealing the subtle banding around the orb that results from the planet’s weather. It was taken from Mount Olympus in Cyprus at 1900 metres above sea level.
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.