Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 awards
Credit: National Maritime Museum
Guests mingle outside the planetarium after the winners have been announced.
By Kieron Allen
The great and good of the astronomy community were out in force last night at the Royal Observatory Greenwich for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 awards ceremony and as official media sponsors of the event, BBC Sky at Night Magazine were on hand to report on all the action.
For the first time in the competition’s five year history, the award ceremony took place in the observatory’s Peter Harrison Planetarium. All of the winning images were projected onto the planetarium’s domed roof allowing the audience to immerse themselves in the spectacular array of celestial shots.
From intricate dust lanes to our dynamic star, the variety of images that made it to the judges shortlist was expansive. But in the end it was Australian Mark Gee’s Guiding Light to The Stars, a stunning depiction of the Milky Way over New Zealand’s rugged Cape Palliser, that scooped the top prize.
Credit: Mark Gee
Mark was unable to attend in person, but BBC Sky at Night Magazine caught up with him over the phone shortly after the winners were announced, “It’s totally unbelievable,” he told us, “It’s a real privilege to have been selected, not only to win overall but to win in two categories.”
Public Astronomer Marek Kukula was on this year’s judging panel, “Every year I'm surprised by the quality of the images,” he said. “ It was very tough to get the images down to a shortlist but we all agreed on the winner. That was the one that really spoke to us.”
The winning images can be seen from today in a free exhibition, at the Royal Observatory which runs until 23 February 2014.
See all the winning images in this BBC gallery.