View Amazing Shots of Space From the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest

Each shortlisted photo is in the running to win the grand prize and will be on display at the National Maritime Museum in London

Hydra’s Pinwheel by Peter Ward - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022 Galaxies
The shortlisted images range from showing Earth as blue marble against thousands of twinkling stars, distant nebulae, swirling galaxies, and stunning photos of the solar system. Peter Ward/Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022

Past Earth’s atmosphere lies a breathtaking universe filled with swirling galaxies, nebulae and colorful planets. Photographers captured many of these stunning sights and a select few of their shots landed on the 2022 shortlist for the London’s Royal Observatory Greenwich Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. The contest is the largest international competition showcasing the world’s best space photography. Over 3,000 submissions from astrophotographers in 67 countries were entered and judged by a panel of experts. 

Judges select the overall winner and other winners from categories including Skyscapes, Aurorae, People and Space, Our Sun, Our Moon, Planets, Comets and Asteroids, Stars and Nebulae, Galaxies, and the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year, reports Dunja Djudjic for DIY Photography.

The shortlisted images include distant nebulae, swirling galaxies and stunning photos of the solar system. Winners of the competition won’t be announced until September 15, but the shortlist allows viewers to enjoy and view the out-of-this-world images now. Both winning and shortlisted photos will be on display at the National Maritime Museum in London on September 17, reports Michelle Starr for Science Alert

Check out some of the 2022 short-listed images below: 

An Icelandic Saga by Carl Gallagher

An image of a boat with the Aurora Borealis in the sky
Gallagher’s image was taken on March 10, 2021, in Patreksfjörður, Westfjords, Iceland, and shows the wreck of the rusty Gardur against a backdrop of the aurora borealis. The image is a single exposure. “It was quite a powerful experience to see this rusting vessel, once a whaling ship, now sitting on the beach at the end of the fjord with the aurora just beginning to appear through gaps in the cloud. Usually, I get quite irate with clouds, yet with this image I think they add a certain drama to the shot. I never stack, blend or stitch images—it’s just a simple, single, moment in time,” Gallagher says in a statement. Carl Gallagher / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022

Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) by Lionel Majzik 

A close-up image of a falling comet. The tail is made up of silver streaks.
This stunning image was taken on December 27, 2021, in Hakis, Khomas, Namibia. Comet Leonard was first spotted in the sky in January 2021, and grew so bright that in December 2021 it was visible to the naked eye. Majizik’s image captured the complex structures in the comet’s gorgeous tail, per Science Alert. Leonard’s green glow is caused by cyanide or cyanogen within the comet’s atmosphere that is excited by UV radiation from the sun. Majzik’s image was taken using a robotic telescope from Skygems Remote Observatories in Namibia. The shot is a once-in-a-lifetime photo as the comet disintegrated after going around the sun.  Lionel Majzik / Astronomy Photographer of the Year

The Starry Sky Over the World’s Highest National Highway by Yang Sutie

An image of mountains against the backdrop of the Milky Way. In front of the mountain is a highway illuminated by speeding cars
Sutie’s image of Mount Kula Kangri was taken on February 14, 2022, in Shannan, Tibet, China. The mountain sits in front of National Highway 219, which reaches an altitude of more than 17,000 feet. The highway is the highest in the world. The Milky Way floats above it in the sky. To the left of the Milky Way, the bright point in the sky is the moon. “To me, the stars and snowy mountains symbolize eternity. Together with the great human-made structure, they depict our courage and will to transform nature,” Sutie says in a statement. The glowing highway is a 245-second exposure of cars speeding across the highway’s snaking bends.  Yang Sutie / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022

Oregon Coast by Marcin Zając 

An image of the Milky Way galaxy framed by two trees.
In this image the Milky Way shines on the southern Oregon coast. The area is notoriously foggy during the summer but Zając was able to get the shot of trees framing the Milky Way on July 10, 2021. Marcin Zając / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022

Saturn and its Moons by Flávio Fortunato

An image of planet Saturn surrounded by its moons
Fortunato’s image was taken on August 25, 2021, in Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil. The photo shows Saturn surrounded by its moons. “I was lucky enough to capture it at a time when the moons were distributed almost symmetrically around the planet, helping to make the composition harmonious,” Fortunato says in a statement. 
  Flávio Fortunato / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022

Hydra’s Pinwheel by Peter Ward

An image of a pinwheel galaxy in space. The galaxy is swirling with red and blue stars and dust.
The Southern Pinwheel Galaxy was first observed on February 23, 1752, in South Africa. Ward snapped a photo of the galaxy by combining a set of Hydrogen-alpha exposures with color data to highlight the ruby-red star-forming regions in the feature. Exposures of the universe were taken with CCD and CMOS cameras and then combined to give the image an intense level of detail. Peter Ward/Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022

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