The winning image for the Aurorae category of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 competition.
The Aurorae category is for photos featuring auroral activity - that is, natural light displays in the sky. The most famous aurorae are, of course, the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), which can take on many shapes and forms as they are moulded by the Earth's complex magnetic field. See How to photograph aurorae for expert tips.
Winner of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 Aurorae category
What the photographer says
‘On the evening of the total solar eclipse in Spitsbergen, around 9.30 p.m., a very impressive Aurora Borealis was visible. At this time, the Sun was shining nine degrees below the horizon – nautical twilight on the shore of the Greenland Sea. In this image the Adventtoppen Mountain (786 metres high) is illuminated by the western/north-western horizon from behind, while the foreground is painted orange by the lights of the nearby Longyearbyen Airport.’ György Soponyai
What the judges say
‘What a breathtaking way to capture an aurora. To photograph the aurora while there is still a fair amount of daylight around is a wonderful idea. The effect is striking, alluring and powerfully atmospheric.’ Jon Culshaw
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.