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Space and PhysicsAstronomy

Here Are The Astronomy Photographer Of The Year Prize's Most Gorgeous Shortlisted Images

These stunning images are the shortlisted entries of the largest astrophotography competition in the world.

author

Dr. Alfredo Carpineti

Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent

clockJul 5 2022, 16:28 UTC
Riverside of Funakawa in Spring. Image Credit: © Takanobu Kurosaki
Riverside of Funakawa in Spring. Image Credit: © Takanobu Kurosaki

Bask in the breathtaking glory of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year shortlist. 2022 marks its 14th edition, and it has received over 3,000 images from 67 countries around the world. The competition is organized by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, with Liberty Specialty Markets and BBC Sky at Night Magazine.

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There are nine categories covering people and space, skyscapes, aurorae, our Sun, the Moon, objects in the solar system, stars and nebulae, galaxies, and an award for people 16 years old or younger. Each of them will have a winner, a runner-up, and a highly commended piece.

There are also two special prizes: the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer and the Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation. The latter is awarded for the best-processed images from open-source data from established telescopes. Among these winners, the judges will select an overall winner who will take home a £10,000 prize. 

The winner will be announced at a special online ceremony on September 15. The winners, runner-ups, and highly commended photos will be exhibited at the National Maritime Museum, next door to the Royal Observatory.

The judges saw two particular themes emerge in the entries this year. One was light pollution effects on astrophotography, such as the image taken by Zezhen Zhou who is shortlisted in the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category. The photo features Pickering’s Triangle, part of the Veil Nebula in the Cygnus constellation, and was taken in Shaoxing, China.

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“If you are in a city, it doesn't mean that the stars are leaving you. I think that this image not only shows the beauty of the night sky but also tells us we shouldn’t lose our love of astronomy because of the bad environment,” Zhou said in a press statement shared with IFLScience.

The other one was Comet Leonard, one of the astronomical highlights of 2021, featuring in almost 25 percent of the submissions in the Planets, Comets, and Asteroids category.

Without further ado, here are some of the shortlisted images. You can see all of them on the Royal Observatory website.

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Skyscapes

Oregon Coast - The Milky Way Galaxy shines bright on the southern Oregon coast, USA. Image Credit: © Marcin Zajac
Oregon Coast - The Milky Way Galaxy shines bright on the southern Oregon coast, USA. Image Credit: © Marcin Zajac


Aurorae

Spectrum - The Northern Lights over the famous Icelandic mountain, Vestrahorn.  Image Credit: © Stefan Liebermann
Spectrum - The Northern Lights over the famous Icelandic mountain, Vestrahorn. Image Credit: © Stefan Liebermann


People and Space

The Starry Sky Over the World’s Highest National Highway. Image Credit: © Yang Sutie
The Starry Sky Over the World’s Highest National Highway. Image Credit: © Yang Sutie


Our Sun

Clouds of Hydrogen Gas. Image Credit: © Simon Tang
Clouds of Hydrogen Gas. Image Credit: © Simon Tang

Our Moon

Fly over the South Pole. Image Credit: © Andrea Vanoni
Fly over the South Pole. Image Credit: © Andrea Vanoni


Planets, Comets and Asteroids

Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard). Image Credit: © Lionel Majzik
Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard). Image Credit: © Lionel Majzik


Stars and Nebulae.  

NGC 6888 – The Crescent Nebula. Image Credit: © Bray Falls
NGC 6888 – The Crescent Nebula. Image Credit: © Bray Falls


Galaxies

Arp 271: Cosmic Collision. Image Credit: © Mark Hanson, Mike Selby
Arp 271: Cosmic Collision. Image Credit: © Mark Hanson, Mike Selby


Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Pickering’s Triangle in Light-Polluted City. Image Credit: © Zezhen Zhou
Pickering’s Triangle in Light-Polluted City. Image Credit: © Zezhen Zhou


The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer

Radio Telescope. Image Credit: © Liu Xuemei
Radio Telescope. Image Credit: © Liu Xuemei


The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation

Busy Star. Image Credit: © Sergio Díaz Ruiz, using open source data from NOAA GOES-16, Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI)
Busy Star. Image Credit: © Sergio Díaz Ruiz, using open source data from NOAA GOES-16's SUVI


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