The winning images in the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition have been announced – featuring starry skies, glowing moons and the bright lights of Aurorae – and will soon go on display to the public.
The annual competition by the Royal Observatory in the UK showcases images by astro-photographers from around the world. This year’s top prize went to Yu Jun of China, who captured “Baily’s Beads” in Indonesia, explaining that the photos are actually a series that were taken during the 2016 solar eclipse and stacked.
Baily’s Beads are named for the English astronomer Francis Baily and are seen during an eclipse as, “from Earth it seems like the sunlight around the edge of the moon is broken into fragments because of the uneven lunar surface. This creates the illusion of a string of bright beads encircling the moon”, explained Yu Jun.
Each year, photographers are invited to submit their best images to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. This year, there were more than 4500 entries from 80 countries, capturing the moon, stars, planets and much more.
There are more than eight different themed categories, as well as a competition for entrants under 16 years old.
About 140 shortlisted images from the competition will go on display on 17 September at the observatory, showing off the 31 prize-winners as well as an interactive exhibit.
The Royal Observatory is located by Greenwich Park and is known for the stunning views it provides of London.