The UK Royal Observatory Greenwich has chosen its annual Best Astrophotographer of the Year. The recipient for 2011 is Damian Peach, for this stunning shot of our solar system’s largest planet:
Wow! [Click to enjoviante.] The detail in the clouds is amazing, and it always shocks me that features on the moons can be seen from here on Earth (that’s Ganymede to the upper right and Io to the lower left).
Now, that’s a beautiful picture, and my congrats to Damian for it. But I have to admit, I’m partial to deep-sky shots, and so I was glad to see Rogelio Bernal Andreo’s incredible “Orion from Head to Toe” make the list as well; after all, I picked it as my Top Astronomy Picture of 2010!
How flippin’ awesome is that? Click it to get a very massively embiggened version, which is well worth your time grabbing. It’s simply amazing. My favorite bit is the (ironically) ghostly-blue Witch Head Nebula at the upper right. Why is it called that? Heh: look at the bigger version to see. You’ll figure it out.
You should look at all the winning entries at the ROG site. And if you think you can do better, then get ready for next year’s contest! And if you happen to be in Greenwich, you should drop by the observatory; they have the winners on display until February 2012.