Astronomy Photographer of the Year Winners Showcase the Wonders of the Universe

The winners of the annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, hosted by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, have been announced. This year’s selection of photographs offers a breathtaking look at the vastness and beauty of our universe. From vibrant nebulas to stunning views of celestial bodies, these images capture the awe-inspiring aspects of space.

One of the remarkable images that won the Young category is the Running Chicken Nebula, also known as IC2944. Bursting with colors and speckled with stars, this photograph captivates viewers with its vibrant display.

Another highlight is the Rosette Nebula (NGC 2337), a highly commended image taken through a telescope in Changzhou City, China. This nebula, approximately 5,000 light-years away, spans an impressive 130 light-years in diameter.

The Moon also takes the spotlight in several winning images. One highly commended photograph captures the Moon’s transit in the night sky, showcasing its changing colors from a deep rusty red to a luminous whitish-yellow. Another image features Mars peeking out from behind the Moon, creating a striking contrast between the red planet and Earth’s satellite.

The Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters, shines vibrantly in a runner-up photograph. This prominent cluster of bright, blue stars located in the constellation Taurus can be seen with the naked eye from Earth.

The competition doesn’t just focus on celestial objects. It also includes categories like Skyscapes and People & Space. A winning image in the Skyscapes category captures large sprites reaching towards the snow-capped Himalayan mountains. Sprites are spectacular electrical discharges that occur high above thunderstorm clouds.

The winners in the Planets, Comets & Asteroids category showcase stunning views of Venus and Jupiter. The winning image in the Our Sun category features a massive solar flare on the Sun’s surface, while the runner-up image portrays the Sun inverted onto polar coordinates, creating a unique fiery appearance.

In the Our Moon category, the winning image captures the last full Moon of 2022, with its lunar corona caused by the diffraction of moonlight in Earth’s atmosphere. The runner-up image showcases the Plato Crater, a prominent feature on the Moon’s surface.

These winning photographs offer a glimpse into the grandeur and intricacy of our universe. They remind us of the vastness that surrounds us and inspire awe and wonder at the mysteries of space.

– Royal Observatory Greenwich