Riverbank of Funakawa in spring. Image credit: © Takanobu Kurosaki
Enjoy the breathtaking glory of the shortlisted Astronomy Photographer of the Year. 2022 marks its 14e edition, and it has received more than 3,000 images from 67 countries around the world. The competition is organized by the Royal Observatory Greenwichwith Liberty Specialty Markets and BBC Sky at Night Magazine.
There are nine categories covering people and space, celestial landscapes, aurorae, our sun, the moon, objects in the solar system, stars and nebulae, galaxies and a prize for people aged 16 or under. Each of them will have a winner, a runner-up and a highly acclaimed piece.
In addition, there are 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 of open source data from established telescopes. From among these winners, the jury will select an overall winner who will take home a prize of £10,000.
The winner will be announced during a special online ceremony on September 15th. The winners, runner-ups and highly acclaimed photos are on display at the National Maritime Museum, adjacent to the Royal Observatory.
The jury saw two special themes emerge in the entries this year. One was the effects of light pollution on astrophotography, such as the photo taken by Zezhen Zhou, shortlisted in the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category. The image shows Pickering’s Triangle, part of the Veil Nebula in the constellation Swan, and was taken in Shaoxing, China.
“Being in a city doesn’t mean the stars are leaving you. I think this image not only shows the beauty of the night sky, but also tells us not to lose our love of astronomy because of the bad environment,” Zhou said in a press statement shared with IFLScience.
The other was Comet Leonardone of the astronomical highlights of 2021, appearing in nearly 25 percent of entries in the Planets, Comets and Asteroids category.
Without further ado, here are some of the shortlisted images. You can see them all on the Website of the Royal Observatory†
Oregon Coast – The Milky Way galaxy shines brightly on the southern coast of Oregon, USA. Image credit: © Marcin Zajac
Spectrum – The Northern Lights over the famous Icelandic mountain Vestrahorn. Image credit: © Stefan Liebermann
People and space
The starry sky above the highest national highway in the world. Image credit: © Yang Sutie
Clouds of hydrogen gas. Image Credit: © Simon Tang
Fly over the South Pole. Image credit: © Andrea Vanoni
Planets, comets and asteroids
Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard). Image credit: © Lionel Majzik
Stars and Nebulae†
NGC 6888 – The Crescent Nebula. Image Credit: © Bray Falls
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
The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer
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’s SUVI