A French photographer has won a top photography contest. Nicolas Lefaudeux won the prestigious prize in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 competition. This is run by the Royal Observatory in the UK. Mr Lefaudeux won the $17,000 prize for his photo of our closest galaxy - the Andromeda galaxy. Andromeda is two million light years from Earth. It neighbours our Milky Way galaxy. Lefaudeux used a special technique called tilt-shift to take his photo. The result is a spectacular photo that makes Andromeda look amazingly close to us. In the photo, we can clearly see the bright, oval-shaped galaxy in the darkness of space. It is surrounded by countless other stars and celestial objects.
Mr Lefaudeux is a celebrated astronomy photographer. His winning photo is titled "Andromeda Galaxy at Arm's Length". It beat thousands of other photos from the world's leading photographers. The photo won in the "Galaxies" category, as well as the competition's overall best photograph. Lefaudeux told reporters he was very surprised at winning the top prize. He said: "I was really not expecting to be the overall winner. I had some hopes for being placed in the galaxy category, as I liked the sense of depth given to the galaxy." He joked that he was "over the Moon" when he got the news that he had scooped the prize. Reporters said he could now "reach for the stars" and win more prizes.