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Hungarian Photographer Wins Astrophoto of the Year Award

Fanni Kaszás 2019.09.16.

Hungarian photographer László Francsics has been named the overall winner of Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019. His photo, ‘Into the Shadow’, depicts the 35 phases of the total lunar eclipse that occurred on 21 January 2019. The photographer also won two other awards at the competition.

László Francsics, president of the Association of Hungarian Astrophotographers, has won three awards with his photographs in this years’ Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019. His image of the reddish full moon in the shadow of the Earth has won the Our Moon category as well as the Overall competition, while his photo of Saturn in infrared came home with the award for the Robotic Scope category.

Robotic Scope Winner – Infrared Saturn
© László Francsics – Chilescope T1 ASA 1000 mm Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope at f/16, Baader R, IR 685, IR 742 filters, Alt-Azimuth fork mount, ZWO ASI174MM camera, R-IR composite, multiple stacked exposures (via rmg.co.uk)

The prestigious Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019 at the Royal Observatory of Greenwich has attracted an astonishing 4,602 entries from 90 different countries across the world this year. The photos were awarded in 11 categories. Several Hungarian astrophotographers entered the competition and besides Francsics, five other photographers got into the last round: László Bagi, Péter Feltóti, András Papp, Rafael Schmall and Ferenc Szémár.

Aurorae Winner – The Watcher
© Nicolai Brügger – Nikon D600 camera, 15 mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 2000, 12 x 13-second exposures (via rmg.co.uk)

The jury praised Francsics’ technical precision, positional precision and the creativity of the composition for the single multiple-exposure picture which won the overall competition, highlighting the high level of artistic effect and masterful beauty of the picture.

Planets, Comets and Asteroids Winner – Death of Opportunity
© Andy Casely – Celestron C14 355 mm Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope at f/26, Astronomik RGB filters, Celestron CGX-L mount, ZWO ASI290MM camera, mosaic of multiple stacked exposures (via rmg.co.uk)

The Astrophoto of 2019 and the winner of the “Our Moon” category “In the Shadow” shows the total lunar eclipse from January 2018, as the moon entered the shadow of the Earth. As 2019 “celebrates 50 years since the first lunar landings, it is fitting that this year’s overall winning image captures such a dynamic and captivating view of the Moon.” Combined from 35 shots, the picture shows from right to left the moon’s changing color as it slowly turning to red. The picture is also special because it shows the period when the edge of the lunar disk glows blue for a brief period due to atmospheric ozone filtering. This phenomenon is caused by the ozone scattering red of the sunlight passing through the periphery of the Earth’s atmosphere, while the blue range is filtering in.

Stars and Nebulae Winner – Statue of Liberty Nebula
© Ignacio Diaz Bobillo – Astro-Physics 167 mm apochromatic refractor telescope at f/7.2, Astrodon SII, H-alpha and OIII 3 nm filters, Astro-Physics 1100GTO mount, pogee Atlas U16M camera, narrowband, SII-Ha-OIII composite (via rmg.co.uk)

All the winning images are now on display at the National Maritime Museum in London.

featured photo: ©László Francsics – 250 mm Newtonian reflecting telescope at f/4, Sky-Watcher EQ6 Pro mount, Sony Alpha 99 camera, HDR composite of 35 exposure (Royal Museums Greenwich)