The runner-up image for the Planets, Comets and Asteroids category of the 2016 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

The Planets, Comets and Asteroids category is for everything in our solar system not covered by the other competition categories, and so includes satellites, comets, asteroids and other forms of zodiacal debris. Visit How to photograph comets for expert tips.

Runner-up in the IAPY 2016 Planets, Comets and Asteroids category

The 2016 runner-up in the Planets, Comets and Asteroids category is 'Comet Catalina' by Gerald Rhemann (Austria), taken at Jauerling, Lower Austria, Austria on 11 December 2015, using an ASA Astrograph 8-inch f/2.9 telescope with ASA DDM-60 mount, and a FLI PL 16803 camera with multiple channels and 1.18-hour total exposure.

What the photographer says

‘The most serious difficulties in imaging Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) come from its speed. For several reasons, imaging and processing comets is one of the most difficult tasks in astrophotography. The comet itself moves very fast in relation to the sky, the exposure time is limited by very rapid changes to the tail structures and the short time-frame in which it is possible to capture the image before dawn or after dusk all cause difficulties.’ Gerald Rhemann

What the judges say

‘Beautifully composed – this picture would stand proud in an art gallery. Comets are most often captured whooshing past in a horizontal line. Here, the photographer shows it spectacularly falling, wispy twirls escaping from its tail. The cosmic drama is emphasized by solar wind breaking into the coma to form a second tail. Space can be the scenery of violent theatre!’ Melanie Vandenbrouck

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