An eruption of last year’s brightest comet has topped entries in an astronomy photographer contest.
Gas spewing from the tail of Comet Leonard has won the top prize in the Royal Greenwich Observatory’s Astronomical Photographer of the Year competition for 2022. Comet Leonard shattered into pieces earlier this year after having skirted the sun, but not before producing a long tail easily visible in Amateur Photos.
The winner, Gerald Rhemann, will be among the top entrants in the category at the National Maritime Museum (opens in a new tab) in Greenwich, UK, at an exhibition opening on Saturday (September 17).
In images, in pictures: Stunning photos of Comet Leonard in the night sky
“Rhemann’s stunning image of Comet Leonard, a long-period comet first identified in January 2021, was captured by the Austrian photographer in Namibia on Christmas Day,” the observatory said, adding that the decision to award the first prize to Rhemann had been unanimous.
“This award is one of the highlights of my astrophotography work. All the effort to make this image a success was worth it,” Rhemann added in the same statement.
The competition received over 3,000 entries from 67 countries and you can see the best shortlisted in each category below.
If you’re looking for a binoculars telescope to observe comets like Leonard, check out our guide to the best binoculars deals and best telescope deals right now. Our best cameras for astrophotography and our best lenses for astrophotography guides also have tips on how to choose the best imaging equipment for taking photos.
Planets, comets and asteroids
- Gherard Rhemann (Austria) with Disconnect event (Winner and Big Winner)
- Damian Peach (UK) with The Jovian family (Finalist)
- Lionel Majzik (Hungary) with cosmic pink (Strongly recommended)
- Zihui Hu (China) with Stabbing in the Stars (Winner)
- Abhijit Patil (USA) with Badwater Milky Way (Finalist)
- Filip Hrebenda (Slovakia) with The Highway of the Night (Strongly recommended)
People and space
- Andrew McCarthy (USA) with The International Space Station Transiting Tranquility Base (Winner)
- Mikhail Minkov (Bulgaria) with Back to the spaceship (Finalist)
- Hannah Rochford (UK) with Equinox Moon and Glastonbury Tor
- Filip Hrebenda (Slovakia) with In the embrace of a green lady (Winner)
- Fred Bailey (Canada) with misty green river (Finalist)
- Akexander Stepanenko (Russia) with winged aurora (Strongly recommended)
- Utkarsh Mishra (India), Michael Petrasko (USA) and Muir Evenden (USA) with Majestic Sombrero Galaxy (Winner)
- Mark Hanson (USA) and Mike Selby (Thailand) with Arp 271 “Cosmic Collision” (Finalist)
- Mathew Ludgate (New Zealand) with SMC and the Magellan Bridge (Strongly recommended)
- Martin Lewis (UK) with Plato’s East Bank Shadow Profile (Winner)
- Andrea Vanoni (Italy) with Moon: large mosaic (Finalist)
- Noah Kujawski (USA) with An eclipse with a thousand sunsets (Strongly recommended)
- Soumyadeep Mukherjee (India) with A year in the sun (Winner)
- Stuart Green (UK) with solar hell (Finalist)
- Michael Clear (Portugal) with A giant in the limbo of the sun (Strongly recommended)
Stars and nebulae
- Weitang Liang (China) with The eye of God (Winner)
- Martin Cohen (UK) with What a blazing star! (Finalist)
- Péter Feltóti (Hungary) with The Center of the Heart Nebula (Strongly recommended)
Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year
- Yang Hanwen and Zhou Zezhen (China) with Andromeda galaxy, the neighbor (Winner)
- Peter Szabo (Hungary) with Mineral Moon Mosaic (Strongly recommended)
- Saahil Sinha (USA) with A rainbow rose (Strongly recommended)
- Julian Shapiro (USA) with The Crab Nebula in Hydrogen and Oxygen