The winning image for the Stars and Nebulae category of the 2015 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.
Winner of the IAPY 2015 Stars and Nebulae category
The 2015 winner for the Stars and Nebulae category is 'The Magnificent Omega Centauri' by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo (Argentina), who has won several prizes in this competition over the past few years. Taken from the small town of San Antonio de Areco, near Buenos Aires in Argentina, the image was taken using an AP130GT telescope, a Losmandy G11 mount and a Canon 6D, Baader-modified and peltier-cooled camera with a 865mm f/6.5 lens. It was achieved with ISO 800 and 22 180-second exposures.
Ignacio told us: 'I always come back to this spectacular object, especially when it is high up in the sky on a night of good seeing, as in this case. By using a full-frame camera, I was able to bring into the frame a few galaxies in the background, as well as a hint of IFN [Integrated Flux Nebula]. Star colour is always challenging when using OSC [One-Shot Colour] cameras.'
Competition judge Chris Bramley enthused: 'This is a supremely well-captured image: there are pin-sharp stars all the way from the edge of the frame to the very centre of the glittering globular cluster. Look closely and you’ll see some distant background galaxies too – a true delight!’
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.