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Cosmic fireworks, an amazing comet and a rare image of the moon: the list of this year’s astronomy photographer

An impressive set of perfect images is competing for this year’s astronomy photographer 2022. The competition is run by Royal Observatory Greenwichin association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine. This year, the competition has received over 3,000 entries from passionate amateurs and dedicated professional photographers, submitted from 67 countries around the world. These have been reduced by a team of expert judges, and we can now share our favorite photos with you.

Shortlisted photos from this year’s competition include Harvest Moon rises behind Glastonbury Gate in Britain, the lights from The Milky Way reflected by the highest national highway in the world in Tibet, one of the most detailed amateur-produced maps of the moon’s south pole and a partial solar eclipse over Italy.

One of the astronomical highlights of 2021 was the discovery of comet Leonard, a long-term comet identified by GJ Leonard on January 3, 2021. It passed closest to Earth on December 12, 2021 and was the brightest. comet of the year. Nearly a quarter of the contributions to the planets, comets and asteroids category focused on this single comet, including a spectacular image taken in Namibia by Lionel Majzik. “The photography was complicated by cloudy weather conditions, but I was happy to capture the incredibly spectacular comet Leonard with its tail,” said Majzik.

Now in its fourteenth year, the Astronomy Photographer of the Year has an expert panel of judges from the art and astronomy worlds. The winners of the competition’s nine categories, two special prizes and the overall winner will be announced at a special online award ceremony on Thursday 15 September. The winning photos will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum from Saturday 17 September, along with a selection of exceptional shortlisted photos.

We will not know who will go away with the highest prize for a while yet, but you can try to make your own predictions by looking through the high quality of this year’s contribution.

Clouds of hydrogen

Hydrogen clouds give way when the sun’s magnetic field lines snap and collide. These features around the edge of the sun are known as prominences. Photo by Simon Tang / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Moonrise over Los Angeles

Moonrise over LA

A line of the moon, mountains and iconic silhouette in Los Angeles, USA, after a winter storm on December 18, 2021. Photo by Sean Goebel / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Comet C / 2021 A1 (Leonard)

Comet Leonard was discovered by GJ Leonard on January 3, 2021 and made its closest pass to Earth on December 12, 2021. The photographer secured some time with the robot telescope at Skygem’s Remote Observatories in Namibia on December 27 to capture this rare glimpse of a comet that will leave solar system and not seen again. Photo by Lionel Majzik / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Above the south pole of the moon

The south pole of the moon

A composition of images of the moon’s south pole created on two different dates (giving different views of the region). It is one of the most detailed amateur-produced maps of this part of the moon, which is very difficult to observe from Earth. Photo by Tom Glenn / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

The crescent nebula

A deep view in false colors of the crescent nebula in Cygnus, the result of shock waves emanating from the Wolf-Rayet star WR 134. Photo by Bray Falls / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Radio telescope

Mingantu Astronomical Observatory is located in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia in China and is mainly used to observe the sun. Here is a silhouette against a starry night sky. Photo by Liu Xuemei / Astronomy Photographer of the Year


Solar activity

The sun looks different every time astrophotographers take a picture when new sunspots form, grow and eventually fade away. In this image, all the wavelengths of light have been filtered out, except for a narrow red band (known as H-alfaline) to reveal an active area of ​​the sun’s change. Photo by Stuart Green / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Circles and curves

star trails

Seen under a quadruple arc, the stars circle Polaris, in this pile with 33 four-minute exposures. California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range fills the horizon and Mount Whitney, the highest peak on the continental United States, is on the far left. Photo by Sean Goebel / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Busy star

Coronal activity Sun.

This image shows the sun’s lively surface and coronal activity at 10:08 Universal Time on February 15, 2022. A powerful Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), shown in deep red in the upper left corner, erupted on the far side. Intriguing formations of plumes (in blue), coronal holes (in dark teal) and filaments (brown) are also represented. To capture all this activity in one image, it was necessary to combine observations in several wavelengths in extreme ultraviolet light. Photo by Sergio Díaz Ruiz / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Solar wind power

Aurora turbine

A living Northern Lights crown behind this wind turbine gives the illusion of an interaction between the two, as if the turbine was driven by the solar wind or spreads the northern lights. This was taken during a strong aurora borealis storm in northern Finland. Photo by Esa Pekka Isomursu / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Saturn and its moons

Saturn moons

Saturn’s moons are distributed almost symmetrically around the planet in this image, which balances the composition of the photograph. Photo by Flávio Fortunato / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

More pictures from Science focus:

A little devil riding on the head of a dragon

nebulosa IC 1848

This image shows the nebula IC 1848 and its core, IC 1871. The soul nebula is an emission nebula located in Cassiopeia. To the east of the soul’s star cloud is a complex of nebulae and star clusters called the cardiac nebula (IC 1805) of nebulae and star clusters. Together they are often called “the heart and the soul”. Photo by Nan Wang, Binyu Wang

Interacting galaxies in Eridanus

Interacting galaxies

This pair of interacting galaxies is found in the southern constellation Eridanus. They are distant members of the Fornax galaxy cluster. They are so close together that gravitational forces have distorted one of the spiral arms of the larger galaxy, NGC 1532. These forces have triggered eruptions of star formation in both galaxies, but more so in NGC 1532, where a new generation of massive galaxy stars has been created. Photo by Terry Robison / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Partial solar eclipse in H-alpha

partial solar eclipse

A partial solar eclipse, taken from the Veneto region of Italy, appears when it reaches its maximum on June 10, 2021. It was a day of low solar activity, which enabled this sharp image of the moon passing in front of the Sun. Photo by Alessandro Ravagnin / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

The starry sky over the world’s highest highway

Mountains and stars

The illuminated National Highway 219, the highest national highway in the world, meanders through the foreground and almost reflects the majestic image of the Milky Way above. The two are separated by Kula Kangri, a mountain located in Shannan Prefecture, Tibet. Photo by Yang Sutie / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Suburbs of the Carina Nebula

The main object in this image is a nebula cataloged as RCW 53c and is rarely captured by astrophotographers. Photo by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

The Jovian family

Jupiter and moons

This image shows Jupiter with three of its largest moons also visible. The famous big red spot is visible on Jupiter itself, along with many other spots and storms. Similar details are also visible on all three Jovian moons. The bright ray crater Osiris can be clearly seen on Ganymede at the top left. Photo by Damien Peach / Astronomy Photographer of the Year


The Northern Lights are depicted over the famous Icelandic mountain Vestrahorn. A panorama of three images has been combined into one image. Photo by Stefan Liebermann / Astronomy photographer of the year

Inverted minerals

Minerals of the moon

The surface of the moon, although it appears gray and monochrome, contains hidden colors in the earth, caused by various minerals. This color is too faint to see with the naked eye, but digital images allow astrophotographers to enhance the colors and reveal a different view of the moon. Photo by Noah Kujawski / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Ladder to the stars

The Milky Way

A stacked image with 15 single exposures, taken in May 2021 at Shiroka Polyana Dam, one of the darkest sports in Bulgaria. The Milky Way reflects the direction of the steps. Photo by Mihail Minkov / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Equinox Moon and Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury tor full moon

A single exposure captures people enjoying the full moon rising behind Glastonbury Gate in the UK in September 2021. Photo by Hannah Rochford / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

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