Winner of Image of the Year 2023 is David Harvey for his image of the Horsehead Nebula.

2nd place goes to Ian Smith

3rd place to Jamie Shepherd

All entries – click on an image to see  a larger version in a lightbox.

In no particular order apart from the order in which they arrived.

Dougie Smart 1 – North America & Pelican nebulae
Photo 1 (12/05/2023)  – Taken with Askar 135 through 1.25″ Optolong L-Extreme filter with HEQ5 mount, ASIAIR Plus & ZWO585MC (18 x 5 min subs at 252 gain in garden). Flats 20, 10 Darks, 30 Bias.

Dougie Smart 2 – Cassiopeia and surrounds
Photo 2 (22/10/2023) – Taken with Canon 1200D with kit 55mm lens with Star Adventurer Mount (31 x 120 second subs at ISO1600). 20 flats (no darks or bias taken).

David Brett 1: M57
Took the original core with the triband and edited it to look vibrant, noticed that there was a faint halo around it (which I wasn’t aware of) and then found the same in “The Visible Universe” and the odd image on Astrobin, so decided to add some time to it with the L-ultimate filter. Made several attempts to blend the two until managing the attached. My initial (acceptable) attempt was a lot more muted. I like the vibrant view!

David Brett 2: Jupiter Ganymede transit:
It loses a bit towards the end of the shadow’s transit as it got too low above neighbour’s houses, but it largely worked as planned to get the entire moon and then shadow transit in one uninterrupted sequence. I learned a lot about batch processing in PI (as with the previous Io and Europa video), tracking in Firecapture (no way was I going to stay up until 4am on a weekday to manually tweak the tracking!) and, although not used in this video, automation and use of WinJupos.

David Brett 3: Jupiter GRS
I planned this so the 60s videos captured 15 minutes either side of the GRS’s central transit. In the end this 5th attempt at editing the data uses ~8 minutes either side of the transit as this looked slightly better to me in WinJupos than the full 30 minutes.

Pat Devine 1: Sunrise progression over Edinburgh
Sunrise over Edinburgh castle and Arthur’s seat. Starting with June 22 at the top ending May 23.
Raspberry PI Zero wakes up each day 60 mins before sunrise and takes photos until 60 mins after sunrise. These are combined into a timelapse video of each sunrises
I have a selected a frame as close to sunrise around the middle of each month.

Pat Devine 2: IC1848 – Soul Nebula
Nov 9th 2023, Celestron RASA 8″, ZWO183mc pro
ZWO EAF, IDAS NBZ, ZWO air pro, Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro
125 *120s (4hrs) Lights, Flats , Darks and Bias. Gain 122 at -10C
Processed in Pixinsightand photoshop

Pat Devine 3: Comet C2022 E3 ZTF
Taken Jan 19th 11.30pm – 12:30am
Celestron RASA 8″, ZWO183mc pro, ZWO EAF,  Optolong L-Pro filter, ZWO air pro, Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro
33 x 120 Lights, Flats , Darks and Bias. Gain 122 at -10C
Processed in Pixinsight, Stacked using process from VisibleDark channel –
Still some star trails smearing the background

Jamie Shepherd 1: Aurora from Glen Ogle, 23h00m UT Feb 26-27 2023

Jamie Shepherd 2: -7m Fireball from Lochearnhead, 02h40m34s UT Oct 4-5 2023

Jamie Shepherd 3: Nacreous Cloud from Lochearnhead 15h07m UT Dec 21-22 2023

Mike Christie 1: M33, with Ha.
135 x 30s L plus 60 x 20s L, 15 x 180s dual band. CFF135 f6.7 with flattener, QHY268C. 16/11/23

Mike Christie 2: Jupiter with GRS and Io.
Best 20% frames from 90s, stacked in PlanetarySystemStacker, colour balanced and sharpened in PixInsight. CFF135 f6.7, Televue 2x Barlow, QHY 485C 7/11/23

Mike Christie 3: M42.
Televue NP101, QHY 485C, 6/3/23

Bill Bonar 1: Elephants trunk in Mono
Ha Mono 2/12/23

Bill Bonar 2: Cygnus Wall

Fran Goodman 1: Orion rising over Aberlady Church

Fran Goodman 2: Star and moonshine over Teide
It was a challenge to get any images as our visit to the stunning Mount Teide National park coincided with a full moon behind me. So very short shutter speeds and low ISO with moonlight meant not many stars. But the landscape was incredible!

Pat Clough 1: M30 13-6-23

Pat Clough 2: Sun 21/6/2023

Mike McGovern: IC434 Horsehead Nebula
Alnitak is always a challenge when imaging the Horsehead Nebula so rather than fighting with it I decided to try to bring it out and make it a major part of the image. I took 6 x 240s subs on 2nd January and 10 x 600s subs on 19th January with a Skywatcher Esprit 100ED and ZWO ASI294MC Pro.
The subs were stacked using Astro Pixel Processor and processed in StarTools.

Ian Smith 1: Aurora Borealis
With the sun entering a more active phase, aurora alerts have been plentiful in the last few months. Unfortunately, clear skies have been infrequent. This image shows a rare moment when fortune cleared the sky to reveal the beauty of the aurora, as seen from East Lothian. And, as an added bonus, provided a seasonal dusting of snow.

Ian Smith 2: Popped Balloon Nebula or Abell 85
A glowing and expanding sphere of super nova remnant in the constellation of Cassiopeia. A Pulsar star has been identified as a possible source of the balloon’s excitation.
Portrayed in false colour to give an estimate of the location and extent of Hydrogen α and Oxygen III emissions.

Ian Smith 3: Soul Nebula
The Soul Nebula is located in Cassiopeia at a distance of approximately 6,500 light years. Within are many active star formation areas and, when imaged in infra-red, the young stars can be seen, particularly at the tips of the various pillars. The radiation from the young star cluster IC1848 is creating a cavity within the nebula’s “abdomen”.
Only the second mono image I’ve been able to capture this year. Portrayed in false colour to show the location and extent of Hydrogen α, Oxygen III and Suphur ii (not much) emissions.

Nigel Goodman: Horsehead Nebula
One of my favourite deep sky targets, the Horsehead Nebula, in it’s “environment” with the spectacular Flame Nebula and the very bright star Alnitak nearby.
I was particularly pleased to get detail in the small patch of nebulosity below and to the left of the Horsehead.
Stack of 20 x 240sec at 100 gain and 50 offset -15 degrees. Altair 102 ED with 0.75 reducer. Altair 294 C L’Enhance filter. NINA, APP, Topaz, Lightroom.

Andrew Farrow 1: Venus over Loch Venachar in Zodiacal light.
Nikon D7000, Lightroom and DeNoise

Andrew Farrow 2: Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)
26th Jan 2023, ES 127mm triplet, Atik Infinity camera
Lightroom and DeNoise

David Harvey: Horsehead Nebula – B33
Data during 20 Jan 2023
20 Lights 5mins each. 2panel mosaic
Stc Duo filter, SII filter, Telescope Ts-photon 6″ f/4,
Mount Ioptron GEM45NUC
Camera ASI533MC. gain 101 offset 40
Pre process APP, post Affinity Photo.