The winning image for the Our Sun category of the 2015 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
The Our Sun category is for solar images, including solar eclipses and transits. It excludes shots of the sun with earthly landscapes (these are part of the 'Skyscapes' category).
Winner of the IAPY 2015 Our Sun category
The 2015 winner for the Our Sun category was ‘Huge Prominence Lift-off’ by Paolo Porcellana (Italy). Shot in Costigliole d’Asti in Italy, it was taken using a home-made truss refractor telescope, an AZ EQ6 mount, a 150mm telescope lens and a PTG Chameleon Mono camera with f/15 lens.
Paolo told us: 'When I saw that this huge prominence was starting to detach from the surface of the Sun I decided to capture its trip to space. Because of its massive size it kept a visible structure even at a great distance from the Sun’s disc. I reduced the focal length to two metres and captured six panels to make a big mosaic. That remarkable projected arm of fire reached a length of more than 700,000 kilometres in its process of detachment.'
‘I absolutely love this picture showing the blistering kiss of the Sun on the photographic lens,' competition judge Melanie Vandenbrouck commented. 'It conveys how fiery, destructive, but also alluring our very own star can be.’
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.