The runner-up image in the Stars and Nebulae category of the 2016 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

The Stars and Nebulae category is for photos featuring deep-space objects within the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other galactic phenomena.

Runner-up in the IAPY 2016 Stars and Nebulae category

The 2016 runner-up in the Stars and Nebulae category is 'Perseus Molecular Cloud' by Pavel Pech (Czech Republic), taken at Šumava National Park, Czech Republic on 7 December 2015, using an ASA 10-inch Newtonian telescope with Gemini 53F mount, and a Moravian Instruments G3-11000 CCD camera with f/3.6 reducer and 120 x 6-minute exposures.

What the photographer says

‘This image shows many interesting deep-sky objects at the edge of the Aries and Perseus constellations. Probably the most famous is NGC 1333, a reflection nebula (shining in blue). Dark nebulae dominate this image. They can only be seen because of their high contrast against the image background and the dense dust where there are no stars at all in the visible spectrum of light. Only an infra-red image would show stars in the dark parts.’ Pavel Pech

What the judges say

‘The chocolatey browns of this cosmic dust make it look almost edible. It reminds us that there’s a lot more stuff out there between the stars than we can see with our eyes.’ Marek Kukula

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