Pictures of Whirlpool galaxy and Milky Way win astrophotography competition – The Irish Times

Pictures of Whirlpool galaxy and Milky Way win astrophotography competition – The Irish Times

Photos of a whirlpool galaxy and a shipwreck off Co Wexford with the Milky Way in the background have won an astrophotography competition run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

One of the winning photos captured an image of the Milky Way behind a shipwreck near Bannow Bay, Saltmills, Co Wexford.

The photo was taken by Adrian Hendroff, from Stepaside, south Co Dublin. The now rusting ship had been a steam dredger that ran aground in the 1980s.

Professor Peter Gallagher, head of astrophysics at the Dublin research institute, said the photo had “mesmerised” the competition judging panel.

“The Milky Way captured above the ship in all its glory is perfectly framed with the rusting ship, seaweed laced mudflats and the faint glow of the Northern Lights. It’s clear a huge amount of thought and creativity went into capturing this image,” he said.

The winner of the “Out of this World” category was a photo of a whirlpool galaxy some 31 million light years from Earth, taken by Sara Harvey, from Bishopstown, Co Cork.

Commenting on the winner, Prof Gallagher said there was a “really impressive” level of detail captured by the photo.

“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. This is a technically brilliant image,” he said.

There were more than 70 entries submitted to the competition.

Runners up included Patryk Sadowski, from Derry; Keith Levins, from Blackrock, Co Cork; Enda Kelly, from Wicklow town; and David Mackie, from Athenry, Co Galway.

The judging panel included Prof Gallagher, Brenda Fitzsimons, photo editor of The Irish Times, Michael McCreary, president of the Irish Astronomical Society, and Niamh Breathnach, director of Alice Public Relations, who sponsor the competition.