The winners of the annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, organized by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, have been announced. This year’s selection of photographs offers a stunning glimpse into the vastness and beauty of our universe. From vibrant nebulas to breathtaking views of celestial bodies, these images capture the fascinating aspects of space.

One of the standout images that won in the Youth category is the Running Chicken Nebula, also known as IC2944. Filled with colors and sprinkled with stars, this photograph captivates viewers with its dazzling display.

Another standout is the Rosette Nebula (NGC 2337), a highly recommended image taken through a telescope in Changzhou City, China. This nebula, located approximately 5,000 light-years away, has an impressive diameter of 130 light-years.

The Moon also takes center stage in several winning images. A highly recommended photograph captures the Moon’s transit in the night sky, showcasing its color changes from deep rust red to bright whitish yellow. Another image shows Mars peeking out from behind the Moon, creating a striking contrast between the red planet and Earth’s satellite.

The Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters, shine brightly in a finalist photograph. This prominent cluster of bright blue stars, located in the constellation of Taurus, can be seen with the naked eye from Earth.

The competition is not solely focused on celestial objects. It also includes categories such as Celestial Landscapes and People and Space. A winning image in the Celestial Landscapes category captures large sprites reaching the snowy mountains of the Himalayas. Sprites are spectacular electrical discharges that occur high above storm clouds.

The winners in the Planets, Comets, and Asteroids category showcase impressive views of Venus and Jupiter. The winning image in the Our Sun category presents a massive solar eruption on the surface of the Sun, while the finalist image portrays the Sun inverted in polar coordinates, creating a unique and fiery appearance.

In the Our Moon category, the winning image captures the last full Moon of 2022, with its lunar corona caused by the diffraction of Moonlight in Earth’s atmosphere. The finalist image showcases the Plato Crater, a prominent feature on the surface of the Moon.

These winning photographs offer us a glimpse into the grandeur and complexity of our universe. They remind us of the vastness that surrounds us and inspire awe and wonder in the face of the mysteries of space.

– Royal Observatory Greenwich