The lyric from a famous Police song — “There’s a little black spot on the sun today” — takes on artistic meaning in this photograph of cells on the surface of the sun, captured as Venus (right) transited the center of our solar system in June of this year. Astro-photographer Peter Ward, who titled the photo “King of Pain,” after the pop classic, was the winner in the high-resolution category at the David Malin Awards — named for a British-born chemist and microscopist whose groundbreaking techniques led to his reputation as the “godfather” of Australian night-sky photographers — presented in New South Wales, Australia last week. “King of Pain” was also runner-up in the overall competition; more remarkable images from this year’s event can be seen here.

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