Another year, and another set of winners of the Royal Observatory's Best Astronomy Photographer. This year's overall winner is this insane shot of an aurora captured over a glacier, which is so other-wordly it looks like it was made with special effects.
The winning shot was captured by the UK's James Woodend over the Vatnajökull Glacier in Iceland, using a Canon 5D and a ten-second exposure. The judges sum everything up perfectly:
'This beautiful image captures what it's really like to see a good aurora -- the landscape, with the reflections which seem almost sharper than the shapes in the sky, is a terrific bonus too! This is the first time an aurora image has won the overall prize: I think what captivated the judges was that it really looked like the aurora was right in front of the viewer -- there's no need for exaggerated or stretched colour.'
Woodend wasn't the only winner, though: there's a whole series of individual-category images, with everything from telescopic glimpses at alien planets to shooting-star landscapes winning prizes. The full list is worth a look, over on the Royal Observatory's Website. [Royal Museums Greenwich]