04 December 2018
An image capturing three photospheric "diamonds" and a ring of solar chromosphere around a rare hybrid solar eclipse has won first place in the Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition. The award, now in its fourth year, celebrates the power of photography to communicate science and shows the beautiful images discovered whilst exploring our world.
Winner Petr Horálek, who is an astrophotographer says, "During an unforgettable expedition to Pokwero, Uganda, I captured an incredibly short and unique hybrid solar eclipse. Just 3 minutes before the 19 second total eclipse, the stormy sky around the sun miraculously cleared up and allowed me to see this spectacular show, of which there is only roughly a 13% chance to successfully observe this phenomenon per century, considering its rare occurrence but also average weather conditions during these particular phenomena.
“During the eclipse, three rare photospheric "diamonds" appeared around the total eclipse’s phase. When the eclipse started (on left side of the image), a two-part diamond ring occurred which was unusual, followed by a third diamond ring on the right side. Another unique observation was the ring of solar chromosphere during the entire total eclipse all around the Moon. Witnessing this phenomenon has made me deeply happy considering how rare it is and how lucky I was with the weather, but also because this particular image has just won the prestigious Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition as overall winner!”
Professor Ineke De Moortel, one of the three judges, said, “The winning image is a true reflection on what makes this competition, by capturing a unique scientific event and communicating the science behind it through photography.”
Four other stunning photos were singled out by the judges as winners in their categories.