Royal Observatory astronomy photographer of the year chosen

By Phil Plait | September 12, 2011 6:53 am

The UK Royal Observatory Greenwich has chosen its annual Best Astrophotographer of the Year. The recipient for 2011 is Damian Peach, for this stunning shot of our solar system’s largest planet:

Wow! [Click to enjoviante.] The detail in the clouds is amazing, and it always shocks me that features on the moons can be seen from here on Earth (that’s Ganymede to the upper right and Io to the lower left).

Now, that’s a beautiful picture, and my congrats to Damian for it. But I have to admit, I’m partial to deep-sky shots, and so I was glad to see Rogelio Bernal Andreo’s incredible "Orion from Head to Toe" make the list as well; after all, I picked it as my Top Astronomy Picture of 2010!

How flippin’ awesome is that? Click it to get a very massively embiggened version, which is well worth your time grabbing. It’s simply amazing. My favorite bit is the (ironically) ghostly-blue Witch Head Nebula at the upper right. Why is it called that? Heh: look at the bigger version to see. You’ll figure it out.

You should look at all the winning entries at the ROG site. And if you think you can do better, then get ready for next year’s contest! And if you happen to be in Greenwich, you should drop by the observatory; they have the winners on display until February 2012.

Related posts:

The Top 14 Astronomy Pictures of 2010
Top Ten Astronomy Pictures of 2009
Top Ten Astronomy Pictures of 2008
Top Ten Astronomy Pictures of 2007
Top Ten Astronomy Pictures of 2006

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Pretty pictures

Comments (6)

  1. D’oh! I had originally written Mr. Peach’s name as Daniel. My apologies.

  2. I’d have called the Witch Head Nebula the Luck Dragon or Falkor nebula myself

    Of course in the picture above (not embiggened) Orion could be called the Forever Alone nebula…

  3. Some of the stars in the Orion image, particularly the two on the top right as shown here, appear to be embedded in the nebular cloud and are clearing out the cloud with their light/wind. Is that what is going on?

  4. Superluminous astrophotography indeed! ūüėÄ

    Thanks BA & congrats and thanks to all the astronomers involved. :-)

  5. Infinite123Lifer

    I am so happy somebody is in the right line of work. That picture could be in webster’s dictionary next to the definition of Breathtaking. Congratulations RBA.

    I was curious about the ghostly whitish blue grey cloud which appears to be moving towards the vicinity of the northerly and “less bright” of 2 distinct points of light in the upper right hand corner of the less embiggened picture above.

    When I very massively embiggened it to investigate my cosmic curiosity of the beautiful “Phils Top Astronomy Picture of the Year 2010” “Orion from head to toe” it turns the image upside down. I dont know why the image flips but it begs me to wonder and to laugh…”which side is truly right side up anyway?”

    Stunningly miraculous work, either way you look at it.

    And Jupiter! My heavens. Our heavens are abundant with wonders. One of a kind experiences. These are the types of images change people. To imagine is one thing, but to see with such clarity. Truly blown away here. Reveling.

  6. Ged

    “Orion from Head to Toe” is fantastic. Thanks for posting – it’s now my wallpaper.


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