A teenager in Bahrain has set a global record by bagging a coveted award in Astronomy Photography for the fourth consecutive time in the under 16 category.
Jathin Premjith (16) was awarded the ‘Highly Commended’ position in the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year -2012 competition organized by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, London in association with Sky at Night Magazine,UK.
Jathin’s shot of the Aurora ‘Heavenly Showers’ – one among the thousands that he clicked during his trip to the Arctic in January 2012 with his father Premjith Narayanan – was chosen for the award, out of the two that was shortlisted. (the other being the closing phase of the Venus transit, which he clicked from the Amwaj Islands.)
The Class XI student at the Indian School Bahrain is also the only Indian / Asian this year to win the merit.
Sharing the joy with DT, Jathin reminisced his experience at the Arctic, braving the cold weather (-20 to -30 degrees) for 5 days shooting the Aurora.
“We had to travel between Finland and Norway to get the right shots. It was breathtaking to see the whole sky filled with long streams of light and colors in the company of innumerable twinkling stars when the huge solar storm hit the Earth in January,” he said.
“I really like this photo because of the variation in color from red to glowing green and I have also managed to capture Orion, Taurus, Procyon, Sirius and the Pleiades,” he explained.
“I used a Canon 7D camera; Nikon 14–24mm f/2.8 lens; ISO 800; 10-second exposure,” noted the astronomy enthusiast who said that he was planning to go to the Antarctic to shoot the mammals like whales and penguins.
The fourth year since the inception of the award in 2009 (to mark the International Year of Astronomy) was exceptional, for the competition saw over 800 entries from astronomers and astro photographers from around the world – almost double the number of entrants to the Young category (below 16 years).
Jathin had won ‘Highly Commended’ awards in 2009 (Full Moon) and 2010 (Half Moon Terminator), while he was the winner in 2011 (Lunar eclipse & Occultation).
Apart from this, Jathin’s five Astro-Photographs (4 awarded and 1 short-listed) have been selected to be published in the ‘Astronomy Photographer of the Year’ book planned to be launched by the ‘Royal Observatory Greenwich, London. Jathin has a younger brother Nithin and his mother is Suja Premjith.