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Winning images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022

‘The Eye of God’ was the winner in the stars and nebulae category (Picture: Weitang Liang)

These images mark the close of this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year, the winner capturing a rare photo of a comet that won’t be seen by Earth again.

The winning image was captured by Gerald Rhemann and entitled ‘Disconnection Event’. It shows a piece of Comet Leonard’s gas tail being disconnected and carried away by the solar winds.

The comet was first identified in January 2021 and was the brightest comet of the year, however, it won’t be seen by Earth again as it slowly breaks apart on its journey. For this incredible picture, Gerald won £10,000.

‘When I first saw this image of Comet Leonard, I was blown away. This picture of a recent visitor to our Solar System has been captured so beautifully,’ said judge Melissa Brobby.

‘The stars in the background give the comet’s tail a magical appearance. I could stare at this image all day.’

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 14 Overall Winner Planets, Comets & Asteroids (Winner) Disconnection Event ? Gerald Rhemann Tivoli Southern Sky Guest Farm, Khomas, Namibia, 25 December 2021 Comet Leonard was discovered by G.J. Leonard on 3 January 2021. It made its closest pass on 12 December 2021 and, having left the Solar System, won?t be seen from Earth again. On 25 December 2021, a dramatic tail disconnection event happened. A piece of Comet Leonard?s tail was pinched off and carried away by the solar wind. ?Astronomy, myth and art come together beautifully in this shot. It holds great value to scientists, as it elegantly captures a disconnection event. Yet this photograph, which was taken on Christmas Day, seems to tell an otherworldly story too ? it could be the Star of Bethlehem, an angel or a fairy soaring through the night sky.? ? Imad Ahmed ASA 12? Astrograph telescope, ASA DDM 85 mount, ZWO ASI6200MM Pro camera, 1076 mm f/3.6, mosaic of two LRGB composite panels, 400-second exposure per panel.

Winner and overall winner ‘Disconnection Event’ features Comet Leonard (Picture: Gerald Rhemann)

The Young Astronomer Photographer of the Year award was won by Yang Hanwen and Zhou Zezhen for their collaborated image ‘Andromeda Galaxy: The Neighbour’.

The two 14-year-old boys captured the vibrant colours of the galaxy in a beautiful picture. The pair got to share the prize of £1,500.

This picture called “Cosmic Collision” features two spiral galaxies of similar size engaged in a major interaction (Picture: Mark Hanson and Mike Selby)

As well as the overall winner and the young winner, there were ten categories. These were Planets, Comets & Asteroids, Skyscapes, People & Space, Aurorae, Galaxies, Our Moon, Our Sun, Stars & Nebulae, The Annie Maunder Prize for Digital Innovation, and the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer.

The winners of each category received £1,500, with the runners-up taking home £500 and commendations earning £250. The two special prize winners received £750 for their images. As well as this, all winners received a one-year subscription to BBC Sky at Night magazine.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 14 Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year (Highly Commended) The Crab Nebula in Hydrogen and Oxygen ? Julian Shapiro Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, 13 December 2021 This image shows the Crab Nebula, a beautiful remnant of a star that died a thousand years ago. At the very centre of the image is the Crab Pulsar, the remains of the star ?Capturing the complex structures in the remnant?s expanding outer layers so clearly and producing such vivid colours without oversaturating the image is extremely challenging. It is, admittedly, one of my favourite astronomical objects; to see it depicted with such clarity and brilliance is an absolute joy.? ? Ed Bloomer Celestron C8 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, Orion Atlas Pro mount, Optolong L-eNhance filter, ZWO ASI294MC Pro camera, 1280 mm f/6.3, multiple 2-minute exposures (2 hours total)

This image shows the Crab Nebula, a beautiful remnant of a star that died a thousand years ago (Picture: Julian Shapiro)

‘I was stunned by the quality of entrants for this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition,’ said Assistant Curator of Art at Royal Museums Greenwich, Hannah Lyons.

‘In 2022, the competition received over three thousand entries from sixty-seven countries around the world.’

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 14 Skyscapes (Winner) Stabbing Into the Stars ? Zihui Hu Nyingchi, Tibet, China, 24 December 2021 Namcha Barwa is the most beautiful snow-capped mountain in China. The name of the mountain in Tibetan means ?spear thrusting into the sky?. This untouched land is also home to the purest of starry skies, the trails of which weave a wide net even on Full Moon days. Namcha Barwa, like a spear, pierces this net. ?I love the juxtaposition of the star trails against the clear peak of the mountain. The motion of the clouds adds to the drama.? ? Sheila Kanani Sony ILCE-7R3 camera, Tamron 150?500mm lens, 150mm f/5.6, 75 x 30-second exposures

The winning photo in the Skyscapes category was ‘Stabbing Into the Stars’ showing the Namcha Barwa mountain in China (Picture: Zihui Hu)

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is the home of Greenwich Mean Time and is one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world, the observatory being home to the Annie Maunder Astrographic Telescope.

The incredible collection of images will be published on the 29th of September 2022 in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Collection 11 and will be available to purchase.

MORE : Stunning images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year shortlist revealed

MORE : Nasa’s James Webb telescope captures a ‘cosmic tarantula’

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