One of the photographs, entitled ‘M-51 – A Galactic Dance’ captured by Sara Harvey from Bishopstown was selected as the overall winning entry in the aptly named ‘Out of this World’ category in the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS) ‘Reach for the Stars’ astrophotography competition.
Entrants to the category were tasked with capturing images depicting scenes or elements of astronomical interest, such as deep space stills or images of the solar system.
Sara’s photo captured the Whirlpool Galaxy, located a mere 31 million light years from the Earth.
As viewed from Earth, the galaxy has a ‘face-on appearance’, with Sara’s image capturing its distinct spiral structure and galactic core in all its spectacular and vibrantly colourful glory.
Commenting on Sara’s winning photo Professor Peter Gallagher, Head of Astrophysics at DIAS and a member of the judging panel for ‘Reach for the Stars’ described it as a “technically brilliant image”.
“The level of detail captured is really impressive. It is well framed to include many points of interest including the hot, young stars and yellow, older stars within the winding, graceful arms of the Galaxy,” said professor Gallagher.
“You can also see some tiny galaxies floating in the background and its companion galaxy NGC 5195 is clearly visible,” he added.
Another image, captured by Keith Levins from Blackrock entitled ‘The Almighty Arch’ was runner-up in the ‘Back To Earth’ category.
A tracked panoramic image, its was shot at Bray Head on Valentia Island, part of the Kerry International Sky Reserve, a gold tier sky reserve and the only one of its kind in the northern hemisphere.
The image shows the Bray Tower, which was used for coastal watches during World War II resting below the illuminated Milky Way.
Both award winning submissions, along with 11 other top-rated images, are being showcased as part of a free outdoor exhibition at DIAS’s Dublin premises.
Among them will be another image called ‘Star Boy’ taken by Colm O’Dwyer from Ballincollig of Barnard 150, a meandering dark dust nebula approximately 1,200 light years away located in the constellation Cepheus
All the winning images are all available to view now online at www.reachforthestars.ie.