The One Show & Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Martin Pugh’s winning image of the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51). Credit: Martin Pugh

If you’ve been following my Twitter feed you’ll probably know that on Wednesday night the Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Sky at Night Magazine, announced the winners of the 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

This year’s overall winner was Martin Pugh, from Australia, who won the top prize with a truly spectacular image (above) of M51. I was on the judging panel again this year and, in my opinion, it was the hardest year to judge in the history of the competition. The standard of entries across all the categories was, as ever, superb, but this year I was particularly impressed with the quality of the images submitted in the Best Newcomer and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year groups – something that really bodes well for the future of the competition.

To tie in with the competition, myself, the ROG’s Marek Kukula, and Andrew Steele – whose striking moonrise image was highly commended in last year’s competition – also appeared in a segment about astrophotography on The One Show last night; my role was to help presenter Jamie Crawford take his first ever astro images. You can currently watch the whole piece on the BBC’s iPlayer here.

Jamie and I looking at some basic astrophotography kit. Credit: BBC Television

All the winning images from this year’s competition are on the ROG website and, if you get a chance, be sure to also visit the stunning free exhibition in Greenwich.

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