Tom Lowe wins Astronomy Photographer of the Year award

Tom Lowe wins Astronomy Photographe

American Tom Lowe’s stunning picture “Blazing Bristlecone” has beaten hundreds of amateur and professional photographers, from around the world, to win the first prize in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

The award-winning shot by Lowe depicts the Milky Way arching over one of the world’s oldest living tree - a bristlecone pine – which has reportedly clocked over 4,000 years standing in the Sierra Nevada. The picture shows the bristlecone appear like a baby in comparison to the stars that shine behind it.

The eerie picture, which has fetched Lowe the £1000 top prize, takes pride of place in the recently-opened exhibition of winning photographs at the Royal Observatory.

Praising the award-winning picture by Lowe, competition judge and ROG Public Astronomer, Dr Marek Kukula said: “This beautiful picture perfectly combines the awe-inspiring vista of the night sky with life here on Earth.” Kukula added: “The bristlecone pines may be old but they are babies compared to the starlight shining behind them, some of which began its journey towards us almost 30,000 years ago.”

The other prize-winning photos in the other categories and special prizes include: a spectacular image of a total solar eclipse; a highly detailed vista of a section of the constellation of Orion, including the three famous stars of the belt, the Horsehead Nebula and the Orion Nebula. These pictures have been snapped respectively by Anthony Ayiomamitis (Greece) and Rogelio Bernal Andreo (USA).

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