The winning image for the Our Solar System category of the 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

The Our Solar System 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.

Winner of the APY 2014 Our Solar System category

The overall winner for the Our Solar System category in 2014 was Alexandra Hart (UK) for ‘Ripples in a Pond’, taken with a TEC140 refractor, a EQ6 Pro mount, and a PGR Grasshopper 3 camera with a Solarscope DSF 100mm f/18 lens.

The Sun’s boiling surface curves away beneath us in this evocative shot, which powerfully conveys the scale and violence of our parent star. The tortured region of solar activity on the left could swallow
up the Earth several times with room to spare. ‘The active region resembled the imprint created when stones hit the surface of a pond, with the magnetic filaments as the ripples,’ said Hart, while judge Pete Lawrence added: ‘The real achievement here is to show an active region that looks three-dimensional. Brilliant image.’

We visited Alexandra on location to understand the story behind her pictures:

Alexandra: solar addiction from Royal Observatory Greenwich on Vimeo.

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