Sample :10:06 10 September 2010
The competition to be Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2010 was fierce. We reveal the shots that the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, deemed most stellar: capturing eclipses, the Northern Lights, the dim and distant Veil nebula, and more.
All winning images are on show at the Royal Observatory from today. The exhibition is free of charge and runs until February.
Orion Deep Wide Field
Orion is probably one of the best-known constellations in our night sky – but this picture, taken by Rogelio Bernal Andreo, shows it as few will have seen it before. As a result, it was crowned winner of the Deep Space category.
The panorama shows Orion's belt clearly – it's the three bright stars on the left of the picture. But you can also see the Horsehead nebula and the Orion nebula.
These clouds of gas, dust and other materials are slowly cooling and condensing – and may eventually form new stars and planets.
(Image: Rogelio Bernal Andreo)
This photograph by Martin Pugh shows the Veil nebula, in the constellation Cygnus, which is the faint remnant of a supernova that exploded over 5000 years ago.
When the supernova exploded, the mass of expanding gases would probably have appeared as bright in the sky as a crescent moon – easily visible with the naked eye.
Now it's notoriously difficult to capture an image of the Veil, so enjoy it while you can. The judges certainly did – this photograph was declared runner-up in the Deep Space category.
(Image: Martin Pugh)
British skywatcher Andrew Brown captured this picture of the moon during International Observe the Moon Night.