The first prize [was] a trip to ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Paranal, Chile, with guided tours and the opportunity to participate in a night’s observations. Runner-up prizes included an iPod, books and DVDs. Furthermore, the highest ranked images will be released for the world to see on www.eso.org as Photo Releases or Pictures of the Week, co-crediting the winners.
Almost one hundred photos were submitted, which is impressive because the process is quite painstaking. Photo editors start with gray scale images that have to be adjusted for contrast, have color added, images layered, light pollution filtered, and adjustments are made for atmospheric effects. The entries can be seen here on flickr. Bellow are some of my favorites.