The winners of the Astronomical Photographer 2022 contest are presented – the absolute leader was Gerald Rehmann, who managed to capture the “farewell” of Comet Leonard with his tail.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year is an annual global astrophotography competition organized by the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. In 2022, the jury received 3,000 entries submitted by photographers from 67 countries.
“We had a great year for astrophotography and the participants made great images for the competition. The level is incredibly high. There are pictures of things that you have not seen before, and even things that you will never see again,” said Ed Bloomer, astronomer at the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
For many astrophotographers, Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard’s Comet), first discovered in January 2021 by astronomer Greg Leonard, has been the highlight of the year, with almost a quarter of the submissions in the Planets, Comets & Asteroids category dedicated to it. However, Gerald Rehmann’s snapshot, taken on Christmas Eve, captivated the judges.
The photo, which the author called “Disconnection Event”, shows a dramatic moment in the comet’s life – part of its tail is separated after a collision with high-speed solar particles.
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“A piece of the tail of Comet Leonard was torn off and blown away by the solar wind. I was very lucky that the weather at Tivoli Farm in Namibia was great when I was on the roof of the observatory. When I took the first picture, I saw that the tail of the comet looked “dramatic” and decided to take the second one – it was at that moment that the “separation” occurred, Gerald recalls.
In the “Moon” category, the work of British photographer Martin Lewis was noted – a picture of the Plato crater. Judge Steve Marsh said the photo highlights the stunning size of some of the lunar craters:
“Given the actual length and scale of the shadows and the mountains that create them, this image really deserves a win.”
The photo of the Sombrero Galaxy, which is home to approximately 100 billion stars, won in the corresponding category. Its authors are Utkarsha Mishra, Michael Petrasco and Muir Evenden.
From the picture it is immediately clear why the galaxy got its name: its shape resembles a flat disk with wide brim – like a hat from a Mexican national costume.
Photographs of the International Space Station have also been captured, with Andrew McCartney, winner of the Humans and Space category, hovering over Tranquility Base, the site of the first manned landing on the moon in 1969.
Below is a gallery with other equally impressive images that show star streams over a snowy mountain in Tibet, a unique mosaic of several images of the Sun, the Milky Way, the Helix Nebula, which is sometimes called the Eye of God, etc.
Source: NewAtlas, RMG