It’s New Year’s day and I’m heading up Greenwich Park to the Royal Observatory to see the view over London at the start of 2010, take a butchers at the Prime Meridian and have a look around the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2009 exhibition that they’ve got on at the moment. The park is covered in frost and a light snow fall, and the view down over the Thames is stunning in the low slanting rays of the winter sun.
Unfortunately, all of London is packed with tourists and the majority of them seem to have had the same idea as me. The walk up to the observatory is packed, but it’s no big deal because everything looks stunning. Up at the Observatory it’s even busier, but most of the visitors seem to be more interested in getting a photo next to the Prime Meridian, the eejiots, and queue up around the courtyard for the privilege.
However, down in the exhibition hall where all of the best entries for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2009 competition are on display it’s much less manic. Busy, but not crowded, the exhibition is filled with some awe inspiring photography of the night sky and beyond. Though it’s not in the same league as the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition at the Natural History Museum, it is captivating in exactly the same way.
A big part of the exhibition’s minimalist feel is the fact that it is only in it’s first year and like the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, I imagine is will grow ever more impressive over the years. Hopefully, it will continue to receive as much, if not more, interest and backing as it has this year to grow into the huge exhibition it thoroughly deserves to be. The only down side to that is that the eejiots queuing up outside might be tempted to see what all the fuss was about, so maybe keeping it low key is a good thing for all.
The exhibition ran until 10th January 2010, so unless you made it already you will have missed it, but the good news is that it has gone on to be an annual event so you’ll be able to keep your eyes peeled for the next opportunity to see some of the wonders of Earth’s orbit, the solar system, and the universe beyond. It’s enough to send Professor Brian Cox into a bit of a froth.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2009: 3.9/5