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And the winner is…

astro image.jpg
The winning image of the 2010 astronomy photographer of the year award (Courtesy: Tom Lowe)

By Michael Banks

US photographer Tom Lowe has beaten hundreds of amateur and professional photographers from around the globe to win the 2010 astronomy photographer of the year award run by the Royal Observatory in Greenwich and Sky at Night Magazine.

Lowe’s winning shot, “Blazing Bristlecone”, which secured him the top prize of £1000, was taken on 14 August 2009 and shows the star-riddled Milky Way arching over an ancient bristlecone pine tree, which can live as long as 5000 years.

The photo was taken in White Mountains, California, with a Canon 5D Mark II camera and an exposure time of 32 seconds. “I like the way the tree follows the Milky Way and the definition is very good,” says astronomer Patrick Moore, one of the 10 panellists who judged the images.

The competition received over 400 entries from more than 25 countries and was split into three categories – Earth and space, our solar system, and deep space – together with young photographer award of the year, which was won by Dhruv Arvind Paranjpye, aged 14, from India. The winners of each category are here.

Selected images will be shown in a free exhibition at the Royal Observatory, which begins today and runs until February.

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