The Royal Observatory Greenwich has announced the Astronomy Photographer of the Year winners for 2022, the 14th edition of the competition. The winning image this year is a photo of Comet Leonard, a subject that will never been seen from Earth again.
The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich which is supported by Liberty Specialty Markets and is in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine. In 2022, the competition received over 3,000 entries from 67 countries around the world.
The competition features 11 categories and this year’s overall winner was selected from the Planets, Comets, and Asteroids category, of which it was also named the winner. Taken by Austrian photographer Gerald Rhemann, the photo (above) is titled Disconnection Event and depicts a rare instance of a piece of Comet Leonard’s gas tail being disconnected and carried away by the solar wind.
It was captured on Christmas Day in 2021 and was the brightest comet of the year. However, it won’t be seen from Earth ever again, which makes his photo all the more remarkable.
“This award is one of the highlights of my astrophotography work. All the effort that went into making this image a success was worth it,” Rhemann says.
All winning photos, as well as information regarding the exhibition of these images in London, can be found on the Astronomy Photographer of the Year website.
Below are the other winning images across all 11 categories.
Planets, Comets, and Asteroids
People and Space
Stars and Nebulae
The Annie Maunder Prize for Digital Innovation
The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer
Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year
Image credits: All photos are individually credited and provided courtesy of Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year 14.