10 Breathtaking Photos Illuminating The 2023 Astronomy Photographer Of The Year Contest

Published 8 months ago

The universe has always been a source of awe and inspiration for humanity. It’s a canvas of incomprehensible beauty, a testament to the wonders of science, and a playground for astrophotographers who capture its stunning vistas through their lenses. In 2023, the Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest once again illuminated our world with breathtaking glimpses of the cosmos.

This annual competition, organized by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, showcases the most mesmerizing astronomical photographs taken by talented photographers from around the globe. Let’s embark on a visual journey through 20 of the most awe-inspiring images from this year’s contest.

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#1 “Andromeda, Unexpected” © Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner and Yann Sainty. Overall winner and Winner Galaxies

Image source: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

“A team of amateur astronomers led by Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner, and Yann Sainty made a surprising discovery − a huge plasma arc next to the Andromeda Galaxy. Scientists are now investigating the newly discovered giant in a transnational collaboration. It could be the largest such structure in the nearby environment in the Universe. The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest spiral galaxy to the Milky Way. It is undoubtedly one of the most photographed deep-sky objects ever. The new discovery of such a large structure in the immediate vicinity of the galaxy was all the more surprising.”

#2 “The Running Chicken Nebula” © Runwei Xu and Binyu Wang. Winner Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Image source: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

“The Running Chicken Nebula, IC2944, is located in the constellation of Centaurus, 6,000 light years away from the Earth. Embedded in the nebula’s glowing gas the star cluster Collinder 249 is visible.”

#3 “Brushstroke” © Monika Deviat. Winner Aurorae

Image source: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

“An abstract aurora in the shape of a brushstroke. Unusually, the photographer decided to photograph the aurora in isolation.”

#4 “Grand Cosmic Fireworks” © Angel An. Winner Skyscapes

Image source: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

“Sprites are an extremely rare phenomenon of atmospheric luminescence that appear like fireworks. An took this photograph from the highest ridge of the Himalaya mountains.”

#5 “A Sun Question” © Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau. Winner Our Sun

Image source: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

“A photograph of the Sun with a huge filament in the shape of a question mark. Solar filaments are arcs of plasma in the Sun’s atmosphere given shape by magnetic fields. The photo is a mosaic of two panels.”

#6 “Mars-Set © Ethan Chappel. Winner Our Moon

Image source: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

“An occultation of Mars that took place on 8 December 2022. During the occultation, the Moon passes in front of the planet Mars, allowing the astrophotographer to capture both objects together. The image shows Mars behind the Moon’s southern side in impressive detail.”

#7 “Suspended in a Sunbeam”© Tom Williams. Winner Planets, Comets & Asteroids

Image source: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

“A unique view of Venus using infrared or ultraviolet false color. By going beyond the visible part of the spectrum, a myriad of fine detail within the upper atmosphere of the planet is revealed.”

#8 “New Class of Galactic Nebulae Around the Star YY Hya” © Marcel Drechsler. Winner Stars & Nebulae

Image source: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

“A team of amateur astronomers, led by Marcel Drechsler from Germany and Xavier Strottner from France, were able to make an important contribution to the study of the evolution of binary star systems: on old images of sky surveys, they discovered a previously unknown galactic nebula. At its center, a pair of stars surrounded by a common envelope was found. On over 100 nights, more than 360 hours of exposure time were collected. The result shows an ultra-deep stellar remnant that the team has baptized ‘the heart of the Hydra.’”

#9 “Zeila” © Vikas Chander. Winner People & Space

Image source: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

“The most northerly part of Namibia’s Atlantic facing coast is one of the most treacherous coastlines in the world and has gained the name the Skeleton Coast. The ship in this photo, Zeila, was stranded on 25 August 2008 and is still in a well-preserved state. The image shows the delicate colors of different star types.”

#10 “Sh2-132: Blinded by the Light” © Aaron Wilhelm. The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer

Image source: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

“The Sh2-132 complex lies near the border of the Cepheus and Lacerta constellations and contains multiple deep sky structures. The photograph includes 70 hours of data, the rich interplay of all the gasses reveals something different each time you look at it.”

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023, astronomy photographers, cosmos photography, photographers, photography
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