Mind-Blowing Images From The Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2021

Let's scroll down and find out spectacular images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
September 27, 2021 | 15:22

The largest astrophotography competition in the world, Astronomy Photographer of the Year showcases the very best space photography from a global community of photographers. Now in its 13th year, the competition received a staggering 4,500-plus entries, submitted from 75 countries worldwide. Check out an incredible selection of the shortlisted images below.

Iceland Vortex by Larryn Rae

Iceland Vortex by Larryn Rae
Iceland Vortex by Larryn Rae

A 250º panorama of the Aurora Borealis in Iceland taken on a freezing winter night, as RMG reported.

Iceland’s aurora borealis is showcased in Iceland Vortex by Larryn Rae (pictured above), who can be seen at the centre of the image. Rae’s panoramic shot highlights the scale of this iconic light display, which is caused by charged particles from the sun colliding with atmospheric gases.

Larryn says: "This is one of the most amazing aurora images I have ever captured as it is totally unique. For me personally, it sums up my whole trip in Iceland in winter - just awe inspiring and feeling like a tiny part of the planet's existence in the face of a very powerful natural environment. I was stoked to have had this moment all to myself."

Aurora in Murmansk by Vitaliy Novikov

Swirling Astronomy Images Of The Year 2021 Winners
Aurora in Murmansk by Vitaliy Novikov

Capturing the polar lights in Murmansk wasn't an easy feat for the photographer due to the bright lights in the city.

To photograph the Aurora Borealis in Murmansk, you must wait for a very strong solar flare, competition bosses said.

The photographer was able to capture the Aurora over the Kola Bay after several attempts and many hours of waiting and wanted to showcase this optical phenomenon in an urban landscape, as 9news reported.

Harmony by Stefan Liebermann

Swirling Astronomy Images Of The Year 2021 Winners
Harmony by Stefan Liebermann

The image depicts a mesmerising panorama of the Milky Way over the lavender fields in Valensole, France.

The colour tones and the lines of the fields are truly amazing, even though the light pollution is clearly visible over the whole area. Stefan says: "The colour tones and the lines are really amazing. Unfortunately the light pollution is clearly visible over the whole area. I captured the foreground in the blue hour with a high ISO value because the lavender never stands still."

Bicolour Veil Nebula by Péter Feltóti

Mind-Blowing Images From The Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2021
Bicolour Veil Nebula by Péter Feltóti

The Veil Nebula complex is the remnant of a giant supernova explosion.

This image shows only a part of the complex as the entire nebula is around six times the diameter of the full Moon. Objects of this type can be photographed very effectively with narrowband filters. The photographer processed a bicolour photo from monochrome images of hydrogen-alpha and oxygen emissions.

Milky Way rising over Durdle Door by Anthony Sullivan

Mind-Blowing Images From The Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2021
Milky Way rising over Durdle Door by Anthony Sullivan

The distinctive sea arch of Dorset's Durdle Door is the setting for this shot of the Milky Way. To counteract the streaking caused by the Earth's rotation over long exposures, the galaxy was captured using a star tracker, with the foreground shot in a separate static exposure. The Milky Way rising over Durdle Door in the UK.

Saturn and Jupiter can also be seen to the left of the frame, just above the horizon. To achieve less noise in the image, the photographer used a star tracking mount to lengthen the camera's shutter speed. However this also creates motion blur in the foreground, so two images were blended together to produce the final result.

Anthony says: "Durdle Door is a perfect spot for astrophotography. The landscape is so interesting and luckily aligns with the Milky Way core during a few months of the year."

Path of the Full Moon above the Sleeping City by Rémi Leblanc-Messager

Mind-Blowing Images From The Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2021
Path of the Full Moon above the Sleeping City. Photo: Remi Leblanc-Messager

The photographer's aim for this image was to focus on the Moon's trajectory at the centre of the photograph, dividing the human world from the sky.

It was tight to time the dark sky just after sunset and the moonrise behind the buildings. The curfew imposed in France decided the location – these roofs look out onto the photographer's flat in the centre of Paris.

The photographer had to predict the precise moment and place that the Full Moon would come out from behind the buildings. The woman standing on the roof appears to be the link between the city and the sky, impressed competition bosses, said.

Château de Chambord by Benjamin Barakat

Swirling Astronomy Images Of The Year 2021 Winners
Château de Chambord by Benjamin Barakat

This magnificent château in Chambord, Centre-Val de Loire, France was an amazing location chosen by the photographer's best friend and mentor Ralf Rohner.

But it proved to be a challenging one as the castle had intervals of illumination with a minute's pause every 15 minutes.

During the pauses, the photographer shot away trying to get as many images as possible and while processing it he had to try to mimic the reflection due to the time delay caused by the castle lights.

Sunrise of the Magic City, by Jiajun Hua

Mind-Blowing Images From The Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2021
Sunrise of the Magic City. Photo: JIAJUN HUA

The photo is taken 16km (10 miles) away from Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai. Utilising the narrow window of time when the sun can be observed rising over Shanghai's central business district from this perspective, the photographer's 4 exposures show the orb of the sun moving through the heavily polluted air.

Every year there are only a few weeks when photographers can capture the scene of the Sun rising in the Central Business District. The photo is composed of four different exposures from the same perspective, recording the process of the Sun rising. The photographer waited for a few days and finally witnessed the Sun rising from the most prosperous area of Shanghai on a heavily polluted morning. The photo is composed of four different exposures from the same perspective, recording the process of the Sun rising.

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