2009 – Babak A. Tafreshi (Porko/Tafreshi)

“Babak A. Tafreshi is to receive the prize for reclaiming a night sky that most modern people have lost, taking us to remote places where the stars still look like they did at the dawn of mankind. His work calls to mind the beauty of the universe and human life on our planet.”

Teheran-born photographer, science journalist and astronomy communicator Babak A. Tafreshi (b. 1978) re-captures through his photographs the primordal beauty of the night sky. Now a German resident, he is the founder and driving force behind The World At Night (TWAN), a collaborative effort among international photographers to document the celestial sphere above notable natural and man-made landmarks. He is also a member of the board of advisors of Astronomers Without Borders.

Tafreshi’s photographs from his expeditions around the world have been published in international journals and on the NASA website, featured in a number of international exhibitions and broadcast on various television programs.

Prior to establishing TWAN, Tafreshi was editor and later editor-in-chief of the Iranian astronomy magazine Nojum. He also served as project coordinator for the International Year of Astronomy 2009, a yearlong celebration commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first recorded astronomical observations by Galileo.