The winning image for the Galaxies category of the 2016 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
The Galaxies category is for photos featuring deep-space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters and stellar associations.
Winner of the IAPY 2016 Galaxies category
The 2016 winner for the Galaxies category is 'M94: Deep-Space Halo' by Nicolas Outters (France), taken at the Castor Sirene Observatory, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France on 13 April 2015 using a RCOS 12-inch f/9 telescope with Paramount ME mount and an Apogee Alta 16U 16803 camera with 48 x 20-minute exposures.
What the photographer says
‘This galaxy is beautiful with its halo of stars and the faint field of small galaxies within it. The process of taking this image was very complex, and the challenge was to try to show all the small galaxies in the background.’ Nicolas Outters
What the judges say
‘This is a beautifully composed image of M94. At full resolution you get the majesty of the central spiral region. The galaxy's external halo looks like a cocoon. Exquisite processing!’ Pete Lawrence
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.