The good folks at the World at Night—dedicated to preserving the night sky and raising awareness about light pollution—have announced the winners of the sixth annual International Earth and Sky Photo Contest, and as usual they are breathtaking examples of the art of astronomy.
They are all beautiful, and you should see them all, but I particularly liked “The Enchanted Forest” by Lyubov Trifonova (shown at the top of this article). The aurora sweep across the sky, set against snow-covered trees in Russia. The Moon illuminates the scene while the familiar stars of the Pleiades and Taurus hang nearby. This won first place in the “Beauty of the Night Sky” category. You can tell she had to endure some fairly inhospitable circumstances to get that shot.
I was pleased to see frequent BA contributor Brad Goldpaint take second place in this category as well.
All the images have been put into a video for ease of viewing:
The contest is open to people all ages anywhere in the world, a way to show that the sky belongs to all of us. I really do like TWAN and support them; check out their site and see what they do. The photographs they have there are surpassingly lovely and will give you an appreciation of the natural heritage of our night sky.