The winning images of any photography contest they are always a beautiful display of art to delight in. If we add to that the majesty of the sky, there is something as beautiful as the snapshots that have won the prizes of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021, a famous astronomical photography contest, organized each year by the Royal Museum in Greenwich.
In total there are 12 categories, in which you can see from images of galaxies until auroras. And of course there is also a category for youth photographers who are just starting out in astrophotography and who, despite their short experience, have nothing to envy many adults.
This year the absolute winner of the contest has been Shuchang dong, who has presented the photo of the annular solar eclipse from June 2020, taken from the Tibet. But let’s look at the rest of the categories.
Auroras are astronomical photography too
Logically, the auroras could not be absent in an astronomical photography contest. In fact, they have their own category in the contest. In it, the winner has been Dmitrii Rybalka, with an image taken in the Kara Strait in Russia, in November 2020.
People and space
The images in which the human beings as a point of reference of the vastness of the universe are among the most beautiful in astrophotography. For this reason, they also have a category, in which the winner has been raised Deepal Ratnayaka.
In the snapshot you can see her 6 year old daughter, very interested in astronomy, showing the stars in the sky to her stuffed animal.
It was taken in Windsor, UK, in January 2021.
Astrophotography of stars and nebulae
In the category of stars and nebulae has won Terry hancock, with a colorful image of the California Nebula, located about 1,000 light years from Earth. Were necessary 7 days to take the images that would make up the final result, but the work was worth it.
The sky as part of the landscape
In the category Skyscapes of this astronomical photography contest has been in first place Jeffrey Lovelace.
Its image has as protagonists the crescent moon and the sand dunes of the Death Valley National Park, California.
The galaxies could not be missing
The contest also has a category of galaxies, in which it has won Zhong Wu, with a nice ring-shaped image. It’s about a mosaic, whose composition, based on photos of the Milky Way, it has taken the author more than two years.
Annie Maunder Awards for Astronomical Photography
Sergio Diaz RuizLeonardo Di Maggio
Annie maunder was an Irish astronomer and mathematician, known, among other feats, for the discovery of the Butterfly Diagram, in which the migration patterns of sunspots are visualized.
Two awards of this astronomical photography contest have been named after his name, the winners of which have been Sergio Díaz Ruiz and Leonardo Di Maggio. Both are compositions, one of the jupiter clouds and another of Saturn, its rings and its moons.
Little big astrophotographers
Zhipu Wang He has only been practicing astronomical photography for a year, but he has already achieved an image of such quality as this of the Solar system, with which he has won the award for the youth category of the contest.
Newcomer, a curious category
This astrophotography contest also has a category called “newcomer”, in which it has won the victory Paul Eckhard. In his image, for which he almost had to overcome a gymkhana that allowed him to be in the right place and at the right time, you can see the Falcon 9 just after its launch, passing in front of the Moon. Of course, it was a photo taken from Florida.
We have seen the moons of Saturn, or even our own Moon, being part of a landscape. But there is also a category dedicated entirely to our satellite.
In this case the winner has been Nicolas Lefaudeux, with an astrophotography in which the planet can be seen Venus looming over the lunar horizon.
Planets, comets and asteroids
The last category of this astronomical photography contest has as protagonists planets, comets and asteroids.
The winner has been an image taken by Frank Kuszaj, in which we can see the beautiful passage of a meteorite, captured entirely by chance, as the photographer himself explained to the BBC.