The highly commended image for the Stars and Nebulae category of the 2016 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.
Highly Commended for the IAPY 2016 Stars and Nebulae category
The 2016 highly commended entry for the Stars and Nebulae category is 'Starlight and Silhouettes' by Tom O’Donoghue (Ireland), taken at Etoile St Cyrice, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France on 19 August 2015, using a Takahashi FSQ-106N f/5 refractor telescope with Takahashi EM-200 mount, and an Atik 11000 CCD camera with 110-hour total exposure.
What the photographer says
‘This is a 110-hour mosaic of 36 panes showcasing the summer skies from the northern hemisphere. Parts of the constellations of Sagittarius, Scutum, Serpens and Ophiuchus can be seen in this image. Many of the well-known bright Messier nebulae, such as the Lagoon, Trifid, Eagle and Swan, can also be seen. This image was taken over four years: 57 hours were taken in 2015 using a triple telescope system.’ Tom O’Donoghue
What the judges say
‘This image really is a labour of love! This is the Milky Way revealed in intricate detail, its myriad stars filling the frame, its dark dust clouds appearing like gaps in the stars, and its ionized regions, where the energy streaming from hot stars irradiates the surrounding gas appearing red.’ 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.