Hungarian photographer László Francsics was named Astronomy Photographer of the Year for his innovative look at a lunar eclipse. By artistically stacking photos, Francsics displays 35 phases of the total eclipse, which moves from red to black to white. Given that 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the image is an apt winner of the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest.
Now in its eleventh year, the highly competitive contest highlights the best astrophotography from around the world. The 2019 competition received over 4,600 entries—a record—from 90 different countries. This makes Francsics’ accomplishment all the more special, as he was able to triumph over technically sound and artistically pleasing compositions from the world’s best astrophotographers. For his efforts, he will receive a cash prize of £10,000, as well as a central place in the exhibition of winning photographs now on show at the National Maritime Museum.
“For a single multiple-exposure image to capture this event with such positional precision, creative innovation and beauty is nothing short of masterful,” shares competition judge Ed Robinson. “The colors of our atmosphere projected onto the Moon’s disc during the eclipse are not only artistically pleasing but also offer an understanding of such events that can reveal aspects of our own, thin, yet essential part of our atmosphere.”
Other winning images include a crystal-clear view of a galaxy located 90 million light-years from Earth and a scenic panorama of the aurora borealis from a mountain in Lofoten, Norway. These otherworldly images are balanced by touches of humanity, including a moving image of photographer Ben Bush and his beloved dog Floyd. Surrounded by Mars, Saturn, and a faint glimpse of the Milky Way, we see Bush and his faithful companion in silhouette. Their portrait is a celebration of the photographer’s two passions—the cosmos and animals.
The winners and shortlisted entries are on display at the National Maritime Museum until April 26, 2020. They’ll also be published in the competition’s official book, which is available for purchase online. And the competition isn’t over just yet. There’s still time to vote for the People’s Choice Award 2019 from a selection of 24 photos.
Here are the astrophotography winners from the 2019 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest.
Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Website | My Modern Met.