Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 Shortlist Revealed

The Royal Observatory’s prestigious Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 competition has revealed the shortlisted photos from this year’s entries. A record-breaking 5,200 entries shot by amateur and professional photographers located in nearly 70 countries were received this year by the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 contest. Here are the shortlisted photos […]

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 Shortlist Revealed

The Royal Observatory’s prestigious Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 competition has revealed the shortlisted photos from this year’s entries.

A record-breaking 5,200 entries shot by amateur and professional photographers located in nearly 70 countries were received this year by the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 contest.

Here are the shortlisted photos in each of the major categories:

Annie Maunder Prize

“Produced using publicly available images. Entrants must process and manipulate the raw data in order to create a new version of that image.”

M16 © Alexios Theodorov

Aurorae

“Photographs featuring auroral activity.”

Geysir Aurora © Phil Halper
Stokksnes Aurora © Ben Bush
Northern Dragon’s Eye © Elena Pakhalyuk
Hamnøy Lights © Andreas Ettl

Best Newcomer

Kynance Cove under the Milky Way © Louise Jones
Solar System through my Telescope © Vinicius Martins

Galaxies

“Deep space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters, and stellar associations.”

Starbust Galaxy in Sculptor © Terry Robison.jpg
NGC 2442 in Volans © Martin Pugh
M33 The Triangulum Galaxy © Rui Liao

Our Moon

“Lunar images including lunar eclipses and occultation of planets.”

Big Moon, Little Werewolf © Kirsty Paton
The Moon And the Shard © Mathew Browne
Some Moons are Close, and Some are Small and Far Away © Andy Casely
Crescent Moon © Richard Addis

Our Sun

“Solar images including solar eclipses and transits.”

Total Solar Eclipse, Venus and the Red Giant Betelgeuse © Sebastian Voltmer
Bridging the Light Fantastic © Alastair Woodward
Eruption… © Łukasz Sujka

People and Space

“Photographs of the night sky including people or a human interest element.”

Stargazing Giant © Dai Jianfeng
Meeting © Nicolai Brügger
Beautiful Persian Gulf Nights © Mohammad Sadegh Hayati
Milky Way and Meteor at Porthgwarra © Jennifer Rogers

Skyscapes

“Landscape and cityscape images of twilight and the night sky featuring the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers, comets, conjunctions, constellation rises, halos and noctilucent clouds alongside elements of earthly scenery.”

Something Old, Something New © Jay Evans
The Red Lake of Stars © Bryony Richards
The Cave of the Wild Horses © Bryony Richards
Cold Night on the Yellowstone © Jake Mosher
Beyond the Fog © Michael Zav’yalov
Galactic Portal © Marcin Zajac

Stars and Nebulae

“Deep space objects within the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other intergalactic phenomena.”

Thor’s Helmet © Ignacio Diaz Bobillo
Statue of Liberty Nebula © Martin Pugh
The Bat Nebula © Josep Drudis
The Magnificent Rho Ophiuchi Complex © Mario Cogo

Young Astronomy Photographer

“Pictures taken by budding astronomers under the age of 16 years old.”

Clouds Across the Moon © Casper Kentish
Startrails in Namib Desert © Qiqige (Nina) Zhao

The winners of this year’s contest will be announced on September 10th, 2020, and the photos will be exhibited in the National Maritime Museum from October 2020.

The overall winner of this year’s competition will walk home with £10,000 (~$12,600) while winners in the other categories will be awarded £1,500 (~$1,900).

You can view last year’s winning images over on the competition’s website.

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Olympus: Selling the Imaging Division Doesn’t Mean ‘Withdrawing’ from Imaging Business

In an interesting interview with DPReview published early this morning, Olympus VP of Global Strategy Setsuya Kataoka tried to shed more light on what the sale of the Imaging Division means for users of Olympus cameras and lenses moving forward. As you might imagine, the interview’s primary focus was the future of Olympus camera gear […]

Olympus: Selling the Imaging Division Doesn’t Mean ‘Withdrawing’ from Imaging Business

In an interesting interview with DPReview published early this morning, Olympus VP of Global Strategy Setsuya Kataoka tried to shed more light on what the sale of the Imaging Division means for users of Olympus cameras and lenses moving forward.

As you might imagine, the interview’s primary focus was the future of Olympus camera gear after the recent announcement that the Imaging Division would be sold off to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP). However, while Mr. Kataoka’s responses were no doubt meant to reassure users that the company’s cameras and lenses—if not the brand name on them—are in no danger of disappearing from the market, he may have inadvertently sown more confusion.

You can read the full interview at this link, but the “first and foremost” message that Mr. Kataoka wanted to send can be found in his answer to the very first question. In response to the question, “What immediate impact will there be from the sale of the Imaging Division?” Mr. Kataoka replied [emphasis added]:

First, I would like to stress that the sale of the Imaging Division does not mean that we will withdraw from the imaging business. We will continue to offer unique and exciting products. Of course there will be some changes in management, and transformation of the organizational structure after the transfer, but these changes are to stabilize the business and strengthen the organization and our operations. We think the transfer of the Imaging Division will have a positive effect on our imaging business.

Based on our current timeline, if everything goes smoothly, we’ll have a Definitive Agreement in place in September, and the new company will be established in January 2021.

Photo by Stanley Young, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This timeline tracks with the current rumors, which claim that the Olympus brand name will disappear from OM-D cameras and Zuiko lenses starting in 2021. From that point on, you’ll be buying an OM-D camera the same way you can now purchase a VAIO laptop absent the Sony brand name. Mr. Kataoka repeatedly refers to JIP as a “partner” in this process, and reassures users that the purpose of the investment fund is to, “revitalize and grow businesses by supporting long-term business management.”

We won’t know what this means in practice until the sale actually goes through and JIP begins to make real-world production and marketing decisions, but Mr. Kataoka revealed that the new owners plan to “focus on the high-end market more than ever,” and that “we will continue to develop the Micro Four Thirds system.”

To dive into all of these details and much, much more, and read the full interview.

For our part, it’s hard to judge whether Mr. Kataoka’s responses fall under the category of “aspirational marketing speak” meant to prevent users from selling off their Olympus gear en masse, jeopardizing the sale, or if the future of OM-D, PEN, and Zuiko gear really will be “brighter” after the sale than before. Feel free to argue it out in the comments, but in truth, we won’t know for sure until JIP takes the reins in 2021.

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