Swirling images of the cosmos, views of Earth
The majestic mist of a nebula floating and extending into deep space; a rare flaming comet over Stonehenge; the incessant eruptions of the sun seen by NASA’s Curiosity Rover on Mars; and the Milky Way which shines above the lavender fields in France. Here are some of the fascinating images selected for the 2021 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
Organized by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, UK in partnership with BBC Sky Night Magazine, the competition celebrates its 13th edition. The preselected images were selected from a pool of more than 4,500 applications from amateur and professional photographers located in 75 countries around the world.
The competition covers nine categories, including “Aurorae”, “People and Space”, “Galaxies”, “Our Sun” and “Our Moon”. The overall winner will receive a cash prize of £ 10,000 ($ 13,800). In addition, a special prize will be awarded to a promising young astronomical photographer under the age of 16 (the winner will receive £ 1,500, or approximately $ 2,075).
The winners will be announced on September 16. Their work will then be presented in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in London, which opened on September 18. In addition, all winning and shortlisted entries will be published in a book that will be released in September.
While some of the entrances penetrate deep into the galaxy with telescoping gear, others capture fleeting moments of beauty from an earthly perspective. For example, Göran Strand was able to record a bright lunar halo over a snowy field in Östersund, Sweden. In China, Daning Kai captured star trails, including the Orion Belt, through the heavily polluted Shanghai air. And in France, Rémi Leblanc-Messager used time at home during the COVID-19 containment to represent the trajectory of the Moon over the rooftops of Paris.
Take a look at a selection of the preselected images below.
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