The Astronomy Photographer of the Year is the gold standard for astrophotography. Run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the contest gives us astonishing glimpses of the Solar System every year. The competition receives thousands of entries from all over the world from amateur and professional photographers anually. This year, 3,000 entries from 67 countries were submitted.
Now the shortlist has been announced. Here, we’ve collected some of the best images from 2022's Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
Astrophotography is extremely difficult to master – it requires immense patience and control to capture good photos of outer space and the night sky. Therefore, these photographers rightfully deserve their acclaim.
Related: Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021: 18 Stunning Finalists
“NGC 6888 – The Crescent Nebula” by Bray Falls. Stars & Nebulae shortlist.
A deep view of the Crescent Nebula in Cygnus. According to the photographer, this is "the result of shockwaves originating from the Wolf–Rayet star WR 134."
“Electric Wizardry” by Shane Turgeon. Aurorae shortlist.
The Northern Lights are reflected in the beautiful waters of a lake in Alberta, Canada.
“Moonrise Over Los Angeles” by Sean Goebel. People & Space shortlist.
The Moon, the mountains, and the iconic skyline of Los Angeles align in perfect harmony after a winter storm on December 18, 2021.
“Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard)” by Lionel Majzik. Planets, Comets & Asteroids shortlist.
Comet Leonard, discovered by G.J. Leonard on January 3, 2021, made its closest pass to Earth on December 12, 2021. This photographer managed to capture this rare glimpse of the comet that won't be seen again in the Solar System.
“Arp 271: Cosmic Collision” by Mark Hanson, Mike Selby. Galaxies shortlist.
These are NGC 5426 and NGC 5427 - two spiral galaxies of similar size engaged in a dramatic interaction.
“Busy Star” by Sergio Díaz Ruiz using open-source data from NOAA GOES-16 Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI). The Annie Maunder Prize for Digital Innovation shortlist.
This mesmerizing image captures the busy surface and coronal activity of the Sun. What you see here is a powerful Coronal Mass Ejection (a large expulsion of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun's corona) in deep red in the upper left corner, erupting on the far side. You can also see formations of plumes (in blue), coronal holes (in dark teal), and filaments (brown).
“Clouds of Hydrogen Gas” by Simon Tang. Our Sun shortlist.
The magnetic field lines of the Sun snap and clash together to give way to clouds of hydrogen gas. This dramatic phenomenon is called a prominence.
“Suburbs of Carina Nebula” by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo. Stars & Nebulae shortlist.
The main object in this image is a nebula listed as RCW 53c. It's rarely captured by astrophotographers.
“Radio Telescope” by Liu Xuemei. The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer shortlist.
The Mingantu Astronomical Observatory in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China is silhouetted against a starry night sky.
“The Starry Sky Over the World’s Highest National Highway” by Yang Sutie. People & Space shortlist.
An illuminated National Highway 219 in India, the highest national highway in the world, almost mirrors the majestic Milky Way above.
“IC 1871 – A Little Devil Riding on the Head of a Dragon” by Nan Wang, Binyu Wang. Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year shortlist.
Here you can see the nebula IC 1848 and its core, IC 1871.
“Chidiya Tapu” by Vikas Chander. Skyscapes shortlist.
The Milky Way seems to mirror the water on its course in the nature reserve at Chidiya Tapu, at the southernmost tip of the South Andaman Island.
“The Jovian Family” by Damian Peach. Planets, Comets & Asteroids shortlist.
This photo captured Jupiter with three of its largest moons. You can also see the famous Great Red Spot (an enormous storm system on Jupiter) along with many other spots and storms.
“Solar Inferno” by Stuart Green. Our Sun shortlist.
A closeup image of sunspots forming on the surface of the Sun.
“Spectrum” by Stefan Liebermann. Aurorae shortlist.
A panorama of three photos of the Northern Lights over the famous Icelandic mountain, Vestrahorn.
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