IAPY 2016 Aurorae: Winner

The winning 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.

Winner of the IAPY 2016 Aurorae category

The 2016 winner for the Aurorae category is 'Twilight Aurora' by György Soponyai (Hungary), taken near Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway on 20 March 2015, using a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera with a 24 mm lens, at ISO 320 and with a 6-second exposure.

What the photographer says

‘On the evening of the total solar eclipse in Spitsbergen, around 9.30 p.m., a very impressive Aurora Borealis was visible. At this time, the Sun was shining nine degrees below the horizon – nautical twilight on the shore of the Greenland Sea. In this image the Adventtoppen Mountain (786 metres high) is illuminated by the western/north-western horizon from behind, while the foreground is painted orange by the lights of the nearby Longyearbyen Airport.’ György Soponyai

What the judges say

‘What a breathtaking way to capture an aurora. To photograph the aurora while there is still a fair amount of daylight around is a wonderful idea. The effect is striking, alluring and powerfully atmospheric.’ Jon Culshaw

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