The runner-up image for the Planets, Comets and Asteroids category of the 2015 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 of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 Planets, Comets and Asteroids category
The 2015 runner-up for the Planets, Comets and Asteroids category was ‘Saturn’ by András Papp, (Hungary). Photographed from Gamsberg Pass in Windhoek, Namibia, it was taken using a Sky-watcher GoTo Dobson telescope, a GoTo Dobson mount, a 16-inch f/4.6 telescope lens and ZWO ASI 120MC and ZWO ASI 120MM cameras with a 9000mm lens. The image was obtained with a 1/100-second exposure.
András told us: 'My first problem in capturing this image was a malfunction in the encoder of the GoTo Dobson telescope that I was using — which turned out to be due to a spider. After cleaning up the electronics the telescope was finally ready for photography. Unfortunately, however, during the processing of the image, I could not find a programme that could deal with the way this type of telescope rotates the field of view. I therefore wrote my own IRIS script and ran it before processing the images.'
‘The clarity of this image is fantastic,' competition judge Will Gater commented. 'It almost feels like you could cut yourself on the razor-sharp rings. There’s lots of fine detail to marvel over too, whether it be the pastel-coloured cloud bands on the planet’s disc or the clear delineation of the many different rings.’
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.