Out-of-this-world discovery lands scientist trio Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023
The Running Chicken Nebula - Young category winner.Taken with an ASA N20 f/3.8 Newtonian telescope, ASA DDM85 mount, FLI Proline 16803 camera, 1,900 mm f/3.8, 5.5 hours total exposure (Image credit: Runwei Xu and Binyu Wang)

The 15th Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition has crowned Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner, and Yann Sainty as the overall winners. Their winning photograph, "Andromeda, Unexpected," reveals a colossal plasma arc adjacent to the Andromeda Galaxy (M31). This revelation has triggered a global scientific collaboration, as it might be the largest structure of its kind near our Milky Way. 

The Andromeda Galaxy is our closest spiral neighbor making it a frequent subject of astrophotography. What makes this find remarkable is the arc's massive size, spanning about 1.5 x 0.45 degrees, and its proximity, only 1.2 degrees away from M31's center, southeast of the galaxy's main body. But to capture it properly you will need one of the best telescopes for photography

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.