Astronomy Photographer of the Year
World Museum

Words, Sophia Charuhas

Few sights are more awe-inspiring than the sight of a sky full of stars. The Royal Observatory Greenwhich’s Astronomy Photography of the Year exhibition captures that awe, along with other outer space-related images that are equally breath-taking.

2018’s competition received over 4,200 entries, with only about 100 making it into the exhibition at World Museum. These truly remarkable images span categories including people and space, sun, stars and nebula, and moon. Some capture astronomical events, such as a solar eclipse or aurora lights. They were taken by a diverse range of photographers, spanning all age ranges and numerous nations, including China, Canada, the United States, Poland, Spain, and many more. Some are experienced and others are amateurs. The photographers exhibit creativity in the types of equipment they used, as well as exposure times (some photographs were layered, with different exposure time for the foreground than for the background). Every photograph has a story behind it, and many of these photographs are accompanied by a brief statement from the photographer, which serves to both provide context and deepen appreciation for the experience that the images captures. As one of the photographers said,

“The longer I remained still and just watched, the more my eyes adjusted to the stars twinkling… This image is a homage to the peace and wonder that I felt.” (Dave Brosha, Deep Space)

This year’s competition coincides with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing on July 20, 1969 and was judged by a panel including both artists and astronomers.

It is easy to forget, especially when living in a city that is well-lit at night, that the sky we wander beneath every day is so full of wonder. Though I have never had the privilege of producing brilliant night photography myself, I appreciate the patience and work that go into astrophotography and creating such images. I became so lost in the beauty and wonder of the display at World Museum that I quite lost track of time. The experience is truly mesmerizing.

The exhibition will remain on display through September 1st and is definitely worth a visit. I recommend taking time to relish it. It is free to enter and open daily, 10am-5pm.