Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013

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Highly Commended in the 'Deep Space' category. 'Floating Metropolis – NGC 253' by Michael Sidonio, Australia. First discovered by astronomer Caroline Herschel in 1783, NGC 253 is a rare example of a ‘starburst galaxy’ with new stars being formed at many times the rate in our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Its mottled appearance comes from extensive lanes of dust which thread through the galactic disk. These are studded with many red clouds of ionized hydrogen gas, marking the sites where new stars are being born. (Michael Sidonio/ Royal Observatory’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013)

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A beautiful shot of the Milky Way has won the prestigious Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013. Now in its fifth year, the competition received a record number of entries - more than 1200 from 49 countries. All of the category winners, runners-up and commended images will be exhibited at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, until 23 February 2014.

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