The Greenwich Royal Observatory in the UK organizes the annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. This year, amongst a record number of entries from more than 50 countries, Finnish photographer Jukka-Pekka Metsävainio’s photo is one of the winners, chosen by a jury of experts including astronomy journalists and photographers, as well as astronomers.
The theme of the competition was astronomic highlights over the past two years, and Metsävainio’s winning entry is a detail of a nebula, a supernova remnant approximately 1470 light years away. The picture, taken in Oulu in October 2012, was the product of a lot of patience and waiting for clear skies to emerge.
"My passion is revealing the beauty hidden in the night sky. For me, astronomy photography is an art form and nature photography combined. On average I use more than 15 hours of exposure for one photograph. I photograph the same object on several nights, over weeks and sometimes even years. A year’s work results in around a dozen new images", says Metsävainio.
The exhibition of the winning photographs, at the Small Exhibitions Gallery, Royal Observatory, can be accessed for free and will continue until February 2015.