Graeme Coates from Oxfordshire, UK has won the BBC Sky at Night magazine Hotshots 2007 Award. The British magazine collects astronomy photos from their readers throughout the year.
For the December issue, a panel of judges (consisting of Sir Patrick Moore, Chris Lintott, David Hardy, Peter Laurence, Damian Peach and Sarah Reed) selected the best images and awarded their astro-photographer a substantial prize. This year, the first prize was one The Imaging Source DMK 41AF02.AS FireWire astronomy camera. A runner's up prize was also awarded.
Graeme's winning photo was of M31, The Andromeda Galaxy (NGC224):
On this web site, Graeme writes:
The Andromeda Galaxy is a naked eye object from a dark site, appearing as a small smudge in the sky. Long exposures reveal it's true extent (over three degrees in size!) as well as two smaller elliptical companion galaxies (M32 - top, and M110 - bottom edge partially off frame). It is a member of the Local Group of galaxies, and is actually moving towards us at a rate of about 300km/s.
In an interview with the BBC magazine, Graeme stated:
I'm flattered that my image has been chosen as Hotshots Photo of the Year, given the quality of the images published in the magazine throughout 2007. I was pleased that I was able to get a good result with relatively short exposures on a small refractor, and from moderately light-polluted skies too.
Well done Graeme! We are delighted to award this prize to you.