The winning image for the Robotic Scope Special Prize in the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 competition.

The Robotic Scope Special Prize is for photographs taken with a remotely operated robotic telescope.

Winner of the IAPY 2016 Robotic Scope Special Prize

Robert Smith (UK) is the photographer behind the winning image for this year's Robotic Scope prize. His 'Iridis' was taken from the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain on 9 April 2016, using the Liverpool Telescope and an Andor iDus 420 camera.

What the photographer says

‘This composite of two images compares slit-less spectroscopy of two well-known planetary nebulae, NGC 6543 (Cat’s Eye Nebula) at the top, and NGC 6720 (M57 Ring Nebula) below. In a spectrograph the light is dispersed into its constituent wavelengths or colours. The particular wavelengths a nebula emits identify the gases of which it consists. What I love most about these images is that they allow us to see very familiar deep-sky objects in a different way.’ Robert Smith

What the judges say

‘Science as art: a very impressive way to show the wavelengths of light emitted by these beautiful objects.’ 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