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SF. Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 Winners (Amazing Photos)
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Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 Winners (Amazing Photos)
yugusev / 28.09.14
 © space.com
 Overall Winner: Aurora Over a Glacier Lagoon by James Woodend

Each year, the Royal Observatory Greenwich and BBC's Sky at Night magazine issue a call for the most amazing astronomy photos of the year. For 2014, they received some amazing entries, but only some would go home with top prizes. See the winners of the contest, starting with the overall winner shown here.

For his winning entry, James Woodend of the UK submitted a photo of a green aurora pictured in Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park reflected in Jökulsárlón Glacier lagoon. It's the first time an aurora view has won top honors.

Earth and Space Runner-Up: Wind Farm Star Trails by Matt James

Matt James of Australia submitted a photo of star trails over the Capital Wind Farm on the shore of Lake George, near the town of Bungendore in Australia.

Deep Space Winner: Horsehead Nebula by Bill Snyder

Bill Snyder of the United States gives the Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) a new twist, looking not only at the the horse's head, but the gas and dust at its base.

Deep Space Runner-Up: Helix Nebula by David Fitz-Henry

David Fitz-Henry (Australia) photographed the The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), which resembles a giant eye. It lies about 700 light years from Earth, one of the closest planetary nebulas to us.

Our Solar System Winner: Ripples in a Pond by Alexandra Hart

Alexandra Hart of the UK captured the sun's violence and scale in this photo. The region of solar activity on the left stretches even more than several times the size of the Earth.

Our Solar System Runner-Up: Best of the Craters by George Tarsoudis

George Tarsoudis of Greece produced a finely-detailed photo of the crater Tycho on the moon. It stretches over 53 miles (86 km) in diameter.

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year Winner: The Horsehead Nebula by Shishir & Shashank Dholakia

Shishir & Shashank Dholakia of the United States depicted the familiar red glow that seems to flow from behind the horsehead, created by hydrogen gas ionized by neighboring stars.

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year Runner-Up: New Year Over Cypress Mountain by Emmett Sparling

Emmett Sparling of Canada snapped this photo as 2013 turned over to 2014, showing stars appearing to stretch into trails as the Earth rotated below the night sky. The different colors of the stars stand out distinctly, the blue stars being younger while red ones are older, nearing the end of their lives.

Special Prize: People and Space Winner: Hybrid Solar Eclipse 2 by Eugen Kamenew

A rare hybrid solar eclipse took place in November 2013, in which the moon appears silhouetted against the sun's disk, not completely covering it. Eugen Kamenew of Germany caught this sight in Kenya. The photo pays tribute to Kamenew's scheduled tour guide and model, who passed away before the photo expedition took place.

Special Prize: People and Space: Lost Souls by Julie Fletcher

Julie Fletcher of Australia composed this evocative image of human figures below a triangle of zodiacal light with Venus at the apex. The temporary waters of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre below reflect the people. Zodiacal light is produced by sunlight reflecting on dust floating between the planets in the plane of the solar system.

Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer: Coastal Stairways by Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy of New Zealand photographed rock formations in the Wairarapa district of New Zealand standing in the foreground while the clouds of the Milky Way shone in the background.

Robotic Scope Image of the Year: NGC 3718 by Mark Hanson

Mark Hanson of the United States lensed galaxy NGC 3718 from Ranch Hidalgo in Animas New Mexico. The galaxy lies in the constellation of Ursa Major, and known as a peculiar barred spiral galaxy
A bright green aurora reflects off a glacial lake against the backdrop of a snow-covered mountain range in an incredible photo that took home first prize in an astrophotography competition.

Representatives of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, have awarded James Woodend — the photographer behind the stunning aurora image — the overall prize in the observatory's Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest for 2014. The winners of the contest (which is in its sixth year) were announced today (Sept. 18).

"Although this is not a strong aurora, they sometimes make the best reflection shots," Woodend said of his image in a statement. "The water was very still — you can see the icebergs floating in the lagoon and their reflections. In the background is the Vatnajökull Glacier."

The British photographer captured his winning photo in Iceland's Vatnajökull National Park, with the glacial Jökulsarlon lagoon in the foreground.

Woodend won 1,500 pounds (about $ 2,458) in prize money for his entry, and his image also took home first prize in the "Earth and Space" competition category.

"I love the combination of whites and blue in the glacier with the chilly green of the aurora in this wonderfully icy picture," competition judge and Royal Observatory Public Astronomer Marek Kukula said of the image in a statement. "We've had some amazing aurora pictures in the competition over the last six years, but this is the first time a photo of the northern lights has actually won the Astronomy Photographer of the Year prize. We were all completely in awe of the colors and symmetry of James' shot."

Other photographers from around the world also took home competition prizes in different astrophotography categories. Alexandra Hart's close-up photo of the sun shows the boiling hot activity of the star and took home top prize in the "Our Solar System" section of the contest.

The overall winner in the "Deep Space" category went to Bill Snyder of the United States for his breathtaking image of the Horsehead Nebula shining in blue, red and pink. The winning "Young Astronomy Photographer" prize goes to 15-year-old twins Shishir and Shashank Dholakia for their image of the Horsehead Nebula.

"This year, two things stood out for me while judging: The record-breaking number of 2,500 entries from a truly global community of astrophotographers, and the staggering quality of the images. It was regularly hard to believe that many were taken from the surface of the Earth and not a space telescope orbiting our planet," BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Editor and competition judge Chris Bramley said in the same a statement.

Interested space fans in England can see an exhibition of the winning images from now until February 2015 at the Royal Observatory's Astronomy Centre. The winners and finalists will be published in a book, which can be purchased in bookstores or online from the Royal Observatory.

Follow Miriam Kramer @mirikramer and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

©  space.com

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