The winning image for the Aurorae category of the 2015 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

The Aurorae category is for photos featuring auroral activity - that is, natural light displays in the sky. The most famous aurorae are, of course, the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), which can take on many shapes and forms as they are moulded by the Earth's complex magnetic field. Visit How to photograph aurorae for expert tips.

Winner of the IAPY 2015 Aurorae category

The 2015 winner for the Aurorae category was ‘Silk Skies’ by Jamen Percy (Australia), taken in Abisko National Park in Lapland, Sweden, using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera with a 24mm f/1.4 lens, at ISO 2000 and with a four-second exposure.

Jamen said of his shot: 'After waiting many hours on top of the mountain for the aurora, I finally gave up and decided to call it a night. I packed up my gear and began to walk back. As I stumbled down the hill I noticed the snow reflecting a green glow (you can see my footprints on the left). I quickly turned around and I looked up to see this. I didn’t have time to move — I had to take the picture from where I stood — but the soft, snowy slope created a pleasant composition so I stayed there, in awe.'

‘This is an amazing capture,' competition judge Jon Cushaw enthused. 'The aqua blues against the diagonal of the mountain. It’s evocative of a close view of Uranus.’ 

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition

The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, sponsored by Insight Investment, 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 exhibition