The runner-up image for the Deep Space category of the 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

The Deep Space category is for photos of anything beyond our Solar System, including stars, nebulae and galaxies. Long-exposure photography is the best way to see and capture colour views of our distant neighbourhood; visit How to photograph deep space objects for expert tips.

Runner-up of the APY 2014 Deep Space category

The runner-up for our 2014 Deep Space category was ‘The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293)’ by David Fitz-Henry (Australia). It was taken using a home-built Newtonian telescope, a Paramount ME mount, a 317.5mm mirror lens and a STL-11000M camera with a 1525mm f/4.8 lens.

The Helix Nebula is one of the closest planetary nebulae to the Earth, and one of the best studied. This highly accomplished image reveals delicate detail in the glowing gas that makes up the nebula, including the tadpole-like ‘cometary knots’ that seem to trail from the inner edge of the gaseous ring. The ‘head’ of each knot is around the size of our solar system.

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