Picturing the night sky

This eerie image of an ancient bristlecone pine set against the backdrop of the Milky Way while a meteor streaked across the night sky has won the National Maritime Museum's annual astronomy photographic competition.

Serendipity played a part as Tom Lowe, from the US, achieved the strange forelighting on the tree when he accidentally left a lamp on while taking pictures in the White Mountains of California. The lamp was part of the equipment he was using for a video using a sequence of time-delayed images but when he noticed the effect he kept it on while taking stills. He was named Astronomy Photographer of the Year at a ceremony last night at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

Click here to see highlights from the National Maritime Museum competition

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