2013년 9월 27일 금요일

천문학 사진사들의 2013년도 사진: Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013

Gazing at the heavens

The Royal Observatory Greenwich's Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition highlights stunning pictures of the cosmos in five categories, with a couple of special prizes added in. More than 1,200 entries were received from 49 countries for 2013's contest. Here are the top images for 2013.

This photo by Ben Canales of the U.S., titled "Hi.Hello," was the runner-up for "Special Prize: People and Space." Appearing like a column of smoke rising from the horizon, a dark lane of dust marks the plane of the Milky Way.

Smoky vision

"Rho Ophiuchi and Antares Nebulae" by Tom O'Donoghue of Ireland was the runner-up in the Deep Space category. The smoky appearance of the dust clouds in this image is fitting, since the grains of dust which make up the nebula are similar in size to particles of smoke here on Earth.

Quadruple halo

"A Quadruple Lunar Halo" by Dani Caxete of Spain was "highly commended" in the Earth and Space category. Tiny ice crystals in the atmosphere, high above Earth's surface, refract the moonlight and create the beautiful halos seen in this ultra-wide-angle view.

Waxing crescent

"Waxing Crescent Moon" by 14-year-old Jacob Marchio of the U.S. was "highly commended" in the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category. The moon seems to be emerging from interplanetary darkness, and Marchio has captured the contrast between the dark lava-filled lunar "seas" and the mountainous southern highlands.

Floating metropolis

"Floating Metropolis - NGC 253" by Michael Sidonio of Australia was 'highly commended' in the Deep Space category. First discovered by astronomer Caroline Herschel in 1783, NGC 253 is a rare example of a "starburst galaxy," with new stars being formed at many times the rate in our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Its mottled appearance comes from extensive lanes of dust which thread through the galactic disk.

Golden Gate panorama

"Goodbye Sun, Hello Moon" by 10-year-old Ariana Bernal of the U.S. was the runner-up in the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category. The awesome scale presented in this image depicts three of the most significant objects in the Universe. The sun and moon, each seen on the horizon, play an important role to us on Earth. The third object is Earth itself, and here its land, sea and sky meet around San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Bright desert night

"The Windows District" by 15-year-old Eric Dewar of Canada was "highly commended" in the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category. By keeping the camera shutter open, Dewar gathers precious light, making the desert scenery seem as bright as day. But the stars in the blue sky give the game away, revealing that this dramatic photograph was actually taken in the middle of the night.

Space neighbors

"M81-82 and Integrated Flux Nebula" by Ivan Eder of Hungary was "highly commended" in the Deep Space category. Twelve million light years from Earth, M81 and M82 are galaxies with a difference. Close encounters between the two objects have forced gas down into their central regions. In M81, this influx of gas is being devoured by a supermassive black hole. In M82, the gas is fueling a burst of star formation that sends clouds of hydrogen (shown in red) back out into space.

The sky is falling

"Snowy Range Perseid Meteor Shower" by David Kingham of the U.S. was "highly commended" in the Earth and Space category. Kingham combines 23 individual stills to convey the excitement and dynamism of August's Perseid meteor shower.

Star cloud

"Omega Centauri" by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo of Argentina was "highly commended" in the Deep Space category. Omega Centauri is a globular cluster, a spherical cloud containing several million stars that is thought to have formed billions of years ago. The cluster was first noted by the astronomer Ptolemy almost 2,000 years ago and cataloged by astronomer Edmond Halley in 1677.
The 2013 Earth & Sky Photo Contest Winners

Icy visitor

"Icy Visitor" by Fredrik Broms of Norway was "highly commended" in the Earth and Space category. Like the snowy mountains in the foreground, the nucleus of Comet PanSTARRS is composed largely of ice and rock. The nucleus itself was just a few miles across, but as it neared the sun in early 2013, ice evaporating from the surface formed a tail of gas and dust hundreds of thousands of miles long.

Spectacular pairing

Comet PanSTARRS takes its place next to the waxing crescent moon in the skies over Los Angeles on March 12, 2013. The pairing of the comet and the moon made for one of the year's best opportunities for astrophotography.

Streaking over New Zealand

Minoru Yoneto captured this picture of Comet PanSTARRS shining over Queenstown, New Zealand, on March 2, 2013. The comet's tail has two components, consisting of glowing gas and shining dust. Yoneto told SpaceWeather.com that "it's a splendid appearance."

The Great Nebula

"The Great Nebula" by 15-year-old Samuel Copley of the U.K. was "highly commended" in the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category. The Great Nebula, also referred to as the Orion Nebula or M42, is found in the well-known constellation of Orion, just below the hunter’s belt. To the naked eye, the nebula looks like another star in Orion’s sword. However, Copley has shown there is more to it than meets the eye.

Saturn's glory

"Saturn at Opposition System" by Damian Peach of the U.K. was "highly commended" in the Our Solar System category. This incredibly sharp portrait brilliantly captures the jewel of our solar system, revealing the subtle banding around the orb that results from the planet’s weather.

Ring of fire

"Ring of Fire Sequence" by Jia Hao of Singapore was "highly commended" in the Our Solar System category. This composite image shows the progress of an annular solar eclipse in May 2013. Annular eclipses occur when the moon passes precisely over the sun, at a point in the moon's orbit when its angular size is not great enough to cover the sun's disk completely. The result is the "ring of fire" effect you see here. Close to the horizon, the distorting effects of Earth’s atmosphere can also be seen.

Green energy

"Green Energy" by Fredrik Broms of Norway was the runner-up in the Earth and Space category. The shifting northern lights can take on many shapes and forms as they are molded by Earth’s complex magnetic field. Sheets and planes of glowing gas appear to be twisted into a giant auroral vortex above Grøtfjord in Norway.

Graceful ballet of light

The northern lights dance over the Knik River near Palmer, Alaska, on Nov. 29, 2006.

Cosmic alignment

"Cosmic Alignment: Comet Lemmon, GC 47 Tucanae, and the SMC" by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo of Argentina was "highly commended" in the Our Solar System category. At a glance, this image may seem like a post-processed montage of objects from three separate images: Comet Lemmon, the globular cluster known as GC 47 Tucanae, and a satellite galaxy that is called the Small Magellanic Cloud. However, the truth is that they were all captured together, providing the viewer with an amazing view of our solar system, galaxy and universe.

Magnetic maelstrom

"Magnetic Maelstrom" by Alan Friedman of the U.S. was the runner-up in the Our Solar System category. This image captures rich details of sunspots and the surrounding solar surface. The darkest patches or "umbrae" in this image are each about the size of Earth, with the entire region of magnetic turmoil spanning the diameter of 10 Earths.

Dot on the sun

"Venus Transit, Foxhunter’s Grave, Welsh Highlands" by Sam Cornwell of the U.K. was the winner of the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer. For those lucky enough to see it, the transit of Venus was one of the astronomical highlights of 2012. Cornwell used special photographic filters to capture the final moments of the transit through a gap in the clouds over Wales. Venus' dark spot can be seen just on the sun's upper right edge.

Stellar nursery

"The Trapezium Cluster and Surrounding Nebulae" by László Francsics of Hungary was honored as the Robotic Scope Image of the Year. The Orion Nebula, with the Trapezium Cluster at its heart, is often described as a "stellar nursery" because of the huge number of stars which are being created within its clouds of dust and glowing gas.

Celestial impasto

"Celestial Impasto: Sh2 - 239" by Adam Block of the U.S. was the winner in the Deep Space category. Structures like this often seem unchanging and timeless on the scale of a human lifetime. However, they are fleeting and transient on astronomical timescales. Over just a few thousand years, the fierce radiation from the stars in this nebula will erode the surrounding clouds of dust and gas, radically altering its appearance. The photo's title, "Celestial Impasto," refers to a painting technique in which the pigment is laid onto the canvas in thick smears.

Moon silhouettes

"Moon Silhouettes" by Mark Gee of Australia was the winner of the "Special Prize: People and Space." This is a deceptively simple shot of figures silhouetted against a rising moon. By photographing the people on the observation deck from a great distance, Gee has emphasized their tiny scale compared to the grandeur of our natural satellite.

The cross and the moon

The moon rises over Table Rock and its lighted cross in Boise, Idaho, on June 22.

Milky Way marvels

"The Milky Way Galaxy" by 14-year-old Jacob Marchio of the U.S. was the winner in the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year. Marchio has focused on one of the most spectacular vistas looking toward the very center of the galaxy, capturing the glow of tens of billions of stars painting streaks of light across the sky. Dark lanes of dust and gas are seen in silhouette against the brilliance of the Milky Way’s dense bulge, while myriad clusters and star nurseries are sprinkled across the scene.

Australian totality

"Corona Composite of 2012: Australian Totality" by Man-To Hui of China was the winner in the Our Solar System category. This image of a total solar eclipse in November 2012 is a demonstration of both precision timing and rigorous post-processing. It gives the viewer a window onto the elusive outer atmosphere of the sun – the corona.

And the winner is ...

"Guiding Light to the Stars" by Mark Gee of Australia was the winner in the Earth and Space category and the overall winner of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.The central regions of the Milky Way galaxy, 26,000 light-years from Earth, appear as a tangle of dust and stars in the central part of the image. Two even more distant objects are visible as smudges of light in the upper left of the picture. These are the Magellanic Clouds, two small satellite galaxies in orbit around the Milky Way.
Month in Space: August 2013

Odd couple

The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope captured this view of a star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies. This sharp image, released Aug. 7, shows two glowing clouds of gas. NGC 2014 (right) is irregularly shaped and red. Its neighbor, NGC 2020, is round and blue. These odd and very different forms were both sculpted by the powerful stellar winds thrown off from extremely hot newborn stars.

Space sayonara

A Japanese H-2B rocket carrying cargo for the International Space Station rises from its launch pad at the Tanegashima Space Center on Aug. 4. The rocket sent up an HTV cargo vehicle, known as "Kounotori," which means "stork." Kounotori 4's cargo included a small talking robot named Kirobo.

Arcing into the sky

The U.S. Air Force's Wideband Global Satcom (WGS-6) mission lifts off on a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Aug. 7. The rocket carried a communications satellite for the U.S. military and its partners, including Australia, which paid for the spacecraft and launch services.

Smiley face on the sun

An extreme ultraviolet image of the sun, captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Aug. 21, seems to show a pair of dark eyes and a wry grin. The dark areas are called coronal holes. They're places where very little radiation is emitted, but they're also the main source of solar wind particles.

Star of wonder

An Aug. 19 image shows the newly discovered Herbig-Haro object HH 46/47, a newborn star with a large energetic jet. Part of the jet (shown here in orange and green) can't be seen in visible light due to dust and gas, while another part of the jet (in pink and purple) shines in visible light. The image was created by combining radio observations made by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, with visible-light observations from the European Southern Observatory's New Technology Telescop

Strange streak explained

An image from the Hubble Space Telescope, released on Aug. 8, shows a long ribbon of gas called the Magellanic Stream that stretches nearly halfway around the Milky Way. In this combined radio and visible-light image, the gaseous stream is shown in pink. The radio observations are taken from the Leiden/Argentine/Bonn Survey. The Milky Way is the light blue band in the center of the image. The brown clumps are interstellar dust clouds in our galaxy. The Magellanic Clouds, satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, are the white regions at bottom right.

Crater's edge

A frosty crater in Mars' northern hemisphere shows signs of gully activity, as seen in this image captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and published on Aug. 21. Changing gullies are more typically documented in Mars' southern hemisphere, where a greater thickness of carbon dioxide frost forms in the winter.

Colors of the sky

The aurora's green glow blends with the orange glow of light reflected off clouds to produce a colorful skyscape for late summer near Whitehorse in Canada's Yukon. Photographer Jonathan Tucker captured the scene on the night of Aug. 15-16.

Perfect for the Perseids

Hundreds of skywatchers enjoy the Perseid meteor shower early Aug. 12 near the town of Atalayita in the Canary Islands. Every year in August, Earth passes through the trail of debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, creating the Perseid meteor display.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012

Streaking over Wyoming

Astrophotographer Randy Halverson captured this shot of a Perseid meteor streak against the backdrop of the Milky Way in Wyoming's Red Desert on Aug. 11. For more of Halverson's work, check out DakotaLapse.com.

Floating on the job

Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin works outside the International Space Station during a nearly six-hour-long spacewalk on Aug. 22. Misurkin and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin (out of frame) completed the replacement of a laser communications experiment with a new platform for a small optical camera system. They also installed some new spacewalk aids and inspected the station's antenna covers

Saturn's stormy hexagon

The weather forecast for Saturn's north pole: storms. Lots and lots of storms. In this picture, acquired by NASA's Cassini orbiter on June 14 and released on Aug. 5, the area around the hexagon-shaped cloud structure in Saturn's north polar region is filled with storms of many sizes.

Blue moon

A full moon sets over Forest Park in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 21. This was considered a "blue moon" because it was the third of four full moons in the summer season. Such an occurrence happens only once in a ... well, you know.

Dream Chaser in the air

Sierra Nevada Corp.'s Dream Chaser test spacecraft dangles in the air at the end of a helicopter cable during a "captive carry" flight test on Aug. 22 over NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California. Sierra Nevada is developing the space plane with NASA's help, in hopes that it will someday be used to carry astronauts and cargo to and from the International Space Station.

Practice for splashdown

Sailors assigned to the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington practice bringing an Orion space capsule into the ship's well deck on Aug. 13, as part of NASA's first key Orion stationary recovery test at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia. NASA is partnering with the U.S. Navy to develop procedures to recover the Orion capsule and its crew after splashdown.

'Stork' makes delivery

An Aug. 9 picture from the International Space Station shows the Japanese robotic cargo spaceship HTV-4, also called Kounotori 4 ("White Stork' in Japanese), caught by the Canadian robotic arm during its docking at the station. The cargo craft was launched into orbit atop a Japanese H-2B rocket several days earlier.

Under a turning sky

Star trails form over yurts, the traditional nomad felt tents, in a long-exposure picture taken on Kazakhstan's mountainous Assy plateau, about 2,500 meters (8,202 feet) above sea level, on July 31. Modern farmers follow the centuries-old nomadic tradition of relocating from settlements to the plateau to tend their livestock for the summer season.

Planetary trio

Three planets - Jupiter (top), Venus (lower left) and Mercury - are revealed after sunset above the round domes of the telescopes at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in northern Chile on May 26.


The sun is framed by the skyscrapers on either side of New York's 42nd Street on May 29, in a phenomenon known as "Manhattanhenge." Twice a year, in May and July, the setting sun aligns perfectly with the city's street grid

Alpine observatory

A long-exposure photo shows star trails whirling around one of the antennas at IRAM's observatory in the French Alps in June. The stars turn around the celestial north pole during the course of the night.

Galactic twins

The galaxy pair known as MRK 1034 lies in the constellation of Triangulum, as seen in a Hubble Space Telescope image released June 24. The two galaxies, named PGC 9074 and PGC 9071, are close enough to one another to be bound together by gravity, although no gravitational disturbance can yet be seen in the image. These objects are probably only just beginning to interact gravitationally

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