- The winners of this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition have been announced.
- The overall winner was a photo titled “The Separation Event”, taken by Gerald Rayman, depicting the separation of Comet Leonard’s tail.
- The competition consists of seven categories, each category has a winner, in addition to other special prizes.
The overall winning image was an image titled “Separation Event” by Gerald Rayman, depicting the detachment of Comet Leonard’s tail before the solar wind moved the detached segment. The contest judges voted unanimously to award Rihmann the title of Astronomy Photographer of the Year after seeing this stunning image.
The comet was first identified in January 2021According to Space.com, it was the brightest comet in our sky that year. However, the comet will never be seen from Earth again, because it has now left our solar system.
“When I first saw this image of Comet Leonard, I was stunned,” said Melissa Proby, contest judge and social media officer at the Institute of Physics. “This photo of a recent visitor to our solar system was captured very beautifully. The stars in the background give the comet’s tail a magical look. I can stare at this photo all day.”
The competition divided entries into seven categories, each with a winner, runner-up and a ‘highly commended’ photo, as well as presenting the Annie Maunder Prize for Digital Innovation (a prize of £750), the Sir Patrick Moore Award for Best Newcomer (also a prize of £750) and the Astrophotographer Prize. Young man of the year. The overall winner will receive £10,000, while the winners of each category, as well as the Young Astrophotographer of the Year, will win £1,500. Runners-up receive £500, and highly commended entries receive £250.
The Young Astrophotographer of the Year award went to two 14-year-old boys from China, Yang Hanwen and Zhou Zixin, who together captured the Andromeda galaxy.
“I think this photo shows how amazing our closest neighbors are,” Zyzin said. “One of the main functions of astrophotography is to get more people to fall in love with astronomy by showing the beauty of the universe.”
Some other notable images include Weitang Liang’s stunning, colorful image of “Eye of God,” also known as Helix Nebula or NGC 7293, which won the “Stars and Nebulae” category, as well as Mark Hanson and Mike Selby’s image of two spiral galaxies, NGC 5426 and NGC 5427, known collectively as Arp 271, which took second place in the “Galaxies” category.
The winning photos will be displayed at the National Maritime Museum in London, and can also be viewed in the slideshow above.
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