The runner-up image for the Skyscapes category of the 2016 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

The Skyscapes category is for landscape and cityscape images of twilight and the night sky featuring the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers, comets, conjuctions, constellation rises, halos and noctilucent clouds alongside elements of earthly scenery.

Runner-up in the IAPY 2016 Skyscapes category

The 2016 runner-up for the Skyscapes category is 'Silent Waves of the Sky: Noctilucent Clouds' by Mikko Silvola (Finland), taken at Raahe, Finland on 16 August 2015, using a Canon EOS 6D camera with  300 f/ 3.5 lens, at ISO 2000 with 16-second exposure.

What the photographer says

‘I haven’t seen noctilucent clouds this strong before. In the upper atmosphere, about 80–85 kilometres high, small crystals of water-ice glow in the summer nights. July is a great time for noctilucent clouds, but here in the northern part of Finland it’s impossible to observe the phenomenon as the Sun doesn’t set far enough below the horizon. This was a memorable night, watching waves in the sky which looked like white Northern Lights of summer.’ Mikko Silvola

What the judges say

‘It’s hard to believe this is photographed upwards. It feels like the surface of calm waters. Noctilucent clouds open up our imagination as we realize that the atmosphere includes way more than the troposphere.’ Wolfgang Tillmans

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