Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013

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Highly Commended in the 'Our Solar System Category'. 'Ring of Fire Sequence' by Jia Hao, China. The Moon’s orbit about the Earth is not perfectly circular, so that at different times the Moon can be slightly closer or further away than usual. If the Moon passes in front of the Sun when it is at its furthest point, it will appear to be too small to entirely cover the solar disc. This is an ‘annular eclipse’ in which a ring, or annulus, of the Sun remains visible. This composite shot shows the progress of an annular eclipse in May 2013. Close to the horizon the distorting effects of Earth’s atmosphere can also be seen. (Jia Hao/ 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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