The winning image for the Skyscapes category of the 2016 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
The Skyscapes category is for landscape and cityscape images of twilight and the night sky featuring the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers, comets, conjuctions, constellation rises, halos and noctilucent clouds alongside elements of earthly scenery.
Winner of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 Skyscapes category
The 2016 winner for the Skyscapes category is 'Binary Haze' by Ainsley Bennett (UK), taken at Ashey, Isle of Wight, UK on 9 October 2015, using a Nikon D800 camera with a 24 mm f/2.2 lens, at ISO 1600 with 20-second exposure.
What the photographer says
‘On this particular morning I knew the Moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter were in close conjunction. I got up early before work and headed to an area of countryside that I thought would offer a suitable composition. On arrival, there was a thick layer of low-lying mist that I thought would hamper my images. To my surprise the mist added a new dimension by accentuating the brightness of the crescent Moon and Venus, making them look like glowing spheres. The resulting image looks like something from a science fiction movie.’ Ainsley Bennett
What the judges say
‘What a remarkably atmospheric image this is. The low veil of mist has transformed the Moon and Venus into something quite otherworldly, like a will-o’-the-wisp. What's particularly rewarding is the way this softness is contrasted with the stars in the night sky above, which are crisp and sharp.’ Chris Bramley
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.