Cosmic fireworks, a stunning comet and a rare image of the Moon: The shortlist for Astronomy Photographer of the Year
Take a look at some awe-inspiring space images up for this year's top astrophotography prize.
An impressive batch of accomplished images are in the running for this year's Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022. The competition is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine. This year the competition has received over 3,000 entries from passionate amateur and dedicated professional photographers, submitted from 67 countries across the globe. These have been whittled down by a team of expert judges, and we can now share our favourite images with you.
Shortlisted images from this year’s competition include the Harvest Moon rising behind Glastonbury Tor in the United Kingdom, the lights of the Milky Way mirrored by the highest national highway in the world in Tibet, one of the most detailed amateur-produced maps of the lunar south pole, and a partial solar eclipse over Italy.
One of the astronomical highlights of 2021 was the discovery of Comet Leonard, a long period comet identified by GJ Leonard on 3 January 2021. It made its closest pass by Earth on 12 December 2021 and was the brightest comet of the year. Almost a quarter of submissions to the planets, comets and asteroids category focused on this single comet, including a spectacular image captured in Namibia by Lionel Majzik. “Photography was hampered by overcast weather conditions, but I was delighted to capture the incredibly spectacular Comet Leonard with its tail,” Majzik said.
Now in its fourteenth year, Astronomy Photographer of the Year has an expert panel of judges from the worlds of art and astronomy. The winners of the competition’s nine categories, two special prizes and the overall winner will be announced at a special online award ceremony on Thursday 15 September. The winning images will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum from Saturday 17 September, alongside a selection of exceptional shortlisted images.
We won't know who will walk away with the top prize for a while yet, but you can try to make your own predictions looking through the high quality of this year's entries.
Clouds of hydrogen gas
Moonrise over Los Angeles
Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard)
Above the Lunar South Pole
The Crescent Nebula
Circles and curves
Solar wind power
Saturn and its moons
More images from Science Focus:
- The best finalists from the Bird Photographer of the Year
- One giant joyride for humankind
- Can we grow food without using soil?
- Welcome to the world's oldest geothermal power plant
- Amazing photos of a rare night-sky phenomenon
A little devil riding on the head of a dragon
Interacting galaxies in Eridanus
Partial eclipse of the Sun in H-alpha
The starry sky over the world's highest national highway
Suburbs of Carina nebula
The Jovian family
Ladder to the stars
Equinox Moon and Glastonbury Tor
James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs