The runner-up image for the Aurorae category of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 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. See How to photograph aurorae for expert tips.

Runner-up of the IAPY 2016 Aurorae category

The 2016 runner-up for the Aurorae category is 'Black and White Aurora', taken by Kolbein Svensson (Norway) in Lierne, Norway on 7 October 2015, using a Nikon D750 camera with a 14 mm f/2.8 lens, at ISO 1600 with a 16-second exposure.

What the photographer says

‘This was the best aurora night ever! For a long time I have tried to capture an image that works in black and white. This is my best so far. I think that the lines and the mountain peak work really well without any colours. I usually feel that the colours are the magic of aurorae, but here I really like their absence.’ Kolbein Svensson

What the judges say

‘It is quite unusual to have a black-and-white photograph of the aurora but this one works extremely well. What caught my eye as a judge was the fine detail visible in the centre of the display. A really lovely composition.’ Pete Lawrence

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