Comet Leonard’s stunning portrait won first prize in the prestigious Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
Comet Leonard was first identified in January 2021 by astronomer Gregory J. Leonard at the Mount Lemon Infrared Observatory in Arizona.
It came closest to Earth on December 12, 2021 when it was 21.6 million miles (34.9 million km) from our planet.
The comet is now hurtling out of our solar system, and Earthlings will never see it again.
The winning photo is titled disconnect eventtaken by Austrian photographer Gerald Riemann in Namibia on Christmas Day.
It shows a piece of a gaseous comet’s tail separated and carried away by the solar wind.
Austrian photographer Gerald Riemann captured the winning photo titled Secession event in Namibia on Christmas Day. Shows a piece of Comet Leonard’s gas tail separated and carried away by the solar wind
What is Comet Leonard?
Comet Leonard, classified as C/2021 AI, is named after the astronomer who first discovered it.
Gregory Leonard discovered the comet using the Mount Lemon Observatory on January 3, 2021.
This was a year before it reached perihelion – the closest approach of the sun.
It last appeared in the inner solar system 70,000 years ago, as well as in the 70,000-year orbit of the Sun.
It made its closest approach to the Sun on January 3 this year, as part of its last orbit in its hyperbolic path before leaving the solar system.
“When I first saw this image of Comet Leonard, I was stunned,’ said Melissa Bruby, a judge and social media officer at the Institute of Physics.
This photo of our last visitor to our solar system was captured very beautifully. Stars in the background give the comet a magical look.
“I can stare at this picture all day long.”
Mr Rhemann said: “This award is one of the most outstanding works of astrophotography.
“All the effort to make this picture a success was worth it.”
Two 14-year-old boys from China have won the Young Astrophotographer of the Year award.
Yang Hanwen and Zhou Zezhen teamed up to catch them Andromeda Galaxy: Neighboran enchanting image of one of the Milky Way’s closest and largest neighbours.
In addition to revealing the vibrant colors of a nearby galaxy, the stars cut through the darkness and underscore the magnificence of this stunning spectacle.
“It’s a fantastic shot by young astrophotographers, who also show their exceptional talent in processing the deep sky image,” said László Francsics, arbitrator and board chair of the Hungarian Astronomical Photographers Association.
“I feel very proud and thank the judges,” Chu Zizhen said. “One of the main functions of astrophotography is to get more people to fall in love with astronomy by showing the beauty of the universe.”
Yang Hanwen added, “I think this photo shows how amazing our nearest neighbor is.”
The Young Astronomical Photographer of the Year award was won by two fourteen-year-old boys from China. Yang Hanwen and Zhou Zezhen teamed up to capture ‘Andromeda Galaxy: Neighbor’, an enchanting portrait of one of the Milky Way’s closest and largest neighbours.
Other winning photos include:
- In the arms of a green lady By Slovakian photographer Filip Hrebanda, showing the reflection of the aurora borealis on a frozen Icelandic lake
- Shadow image of Plato’s eastern edge By British photographer Martin Lewis, one of the sharpest images of the giant crater of the moon is Plato
- year in the sun By Indian photographer Soumyadeep Mukherjee, who tracks sunspots that gradually drift over the course of a year
- God’s Eye By Chinese photographer Weitang Liang, an ethereal image of the Helix Nebula, which looks like an eye looking at us on Earth
“The Shadow of Plato’s Eastern Rim” by British photographer Martin Lewis, one of the sharpest images of the crater of the moon, Plato
‘A Year in the Sun’ by Indian photographer Sumadeep Mukherjee, which tracks sunspots that have drifted over the course of a year
“God’s Eye” by Chinese photographer Weitang Liang, an image of the Helix Nebula, which resembles a staring eye
Another favorite of the jury was the International Space Station Transiting Tranquility Base by American photographer Andrew McCarthy, which won in the People & Space category.
It features the International Space Station positioned directly above the Sea of Tranquility, the landing site for the first manned moon landing in 1969.
Judge Emad Ahmed, director of the new Crescent Society, described the photo as “one of my favorite photos in this year’s competition.”
“The ancient rocky expanse of the Moon serves as the perfect backdrop for the inquisitive International Space Station,” he said.
“To me, this not only highlights humans’ fascination with the Moon, but may hint at a future where landing on its surface may eventually, one day, be an opportunity for all of us.”
Another favorite of the jury was the International Space Station Transiting Tranquility Base by American photographer Andrew McCarthy, which won in the People & Space category. Features the International Space Station positioned directly above the Sea of Tranquility, the landing site for the first manned moon landing in 1969
Steve Marsh, judge and art editor for BBC Sky at Night Magazine said: “The best star photographers in the world have emerged to showcase their talent and innovation.
Fourteen years of competition have shown that astronomy is timeless and can withstand anything.
This year it featured some nearly high-quality images from the “space telescope”, as participants sprang into celestial events as they occurred, finding new ways to bring us well-documented objects and demonstrating accurate knowledge of their skill.
As always, it was a pleasure and a pleasure to judge these stunning photos.
Ed Plumer, astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said, “Once again we had a fantastic year in astrophotography, and the participants have produced amazing images for the competition. The standard is incredibly high.
It was truly satisfying to see how many participants challenged themselves to capture extraordinary, rarely photographed or fleeting events: there are some things you’ve never seen, and even some we’ll never see again.
“I was amazed by the quality of the participants in this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition,” said Hannah Lyons, Assistant Curator of Art at Royal Museums Greenwich.
“Selecting the shortlist was a marathon task, but I feel confident that the jury has selected some beautiful, technologically advanced images that will enter and inspire you.”
The Royal Observatory Greenwich is running this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, and this year it has received more than three thousand entries from 77 countries.
The astrophotographer captured this image of Comet Leonard in extraordinary detail as it roamed through space in a glow of blue, green and orange.
Last year, the Arizona-based astrophotographer captured Comet Leonard streaking through space in a glow of blue, green and orange.
Andrew McCarthy waited several hours for the perfect shot, which showed “incredible structure and colour” around the comet’s core and a light greenish tail.
Comet Leonard was discovered on January 3, 2021 by astronomer Gregory J. Leonard at the Mount Lemon Infrared Observatory in Arizona and classified as C/2021 AI.
It had a green tail because its inner ice rock was heating up as it got closer to the sun, emitting first blue dust, then yellow or white and finally green.
When it turned this teal color, it meant that the comet was warm, contained a lot of cyanide and diatomic carbon, and its potential for disintegration was at an all-time high.
Most of the surface was slightly reddened with organic-rich materials such as carbon, while the snow-rich material sometimes appeared somewhat bluer.
“Despite being very low in the southwest sky, I was able to get nearly 12 minutes of close-up shots, which gave me a great look at the amazing structure and color around the core,” McCarthy said.
Comet Leonard was first seen on January 3, 2021 by astronomer Gregory J. Leonard. That time was ‘very faint’ but it got brighter the closer it got to the sun