The Brightest Stars: The 2021 Astronomical Photographer of the Year Award Winners

An image depicting a transient star trail, the Space X Falcon 9 passing through Earth’s Moon, and a glowing aurora were among this year’s category winners Astronomy Photographer of the Year Competition.

Now in its 13th year, the Astronomical Photographer of the Year, which is hosted annually by Royal Observatory Greenwich in association with BBC Sky Night Magazine, has become a respected international competition for astrophotography.

© ‘The Golden Ring’ by Shuchang Dong – Overall winner and winner of the Our Sun category – Astronomy photographer of the year 2021

Photographer Shuchang Dong was announced as this year’s Grand Prize winner for his simple yet striking photograph of a solar eclipse titled Tthe Golden Ring.

As the winner, Dong walks away with a prize of £ 10,000 plus the opportunity for his work to be featured at the winning images exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, UK.

Commenting on the winning photo, Judge László Francsics said: “Perfection and simplicity, which can lead to a winning image. The square crop has tension with the mystical ring, and the hazy blue sky is the complementary to the yellow ring. A true masterpiece “.

The names of Australian light photographers

Australian photographers Ed Hurst and Steven Mohr were recognized as shortlisted candidates in the People and space and the Stars and nebulae categories, respectively. You can see their impressive images below.

© 'Luna Park' by Ed Hurst - Selected in the People & Space category - Astronomical photographer of the year 2021
© ‘Luna Park’ by Ed Hurst – Selected in the People & Space category – Astronomical photographer of the year 2021
© 'Dark molecular cloud in corona australis' by Steven Mohr - Selected in the Stars & Nebulae category - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021
© ‘Dark molecular cloud in corona australis’ by Steven Mohr – Selected in the Stars & Nebulae category – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021

Category winners

Stars and Nebulae – Terry Hancock

© 'California Dreamin' by Terry Hancock - Star and Nebulae Award Winner - Astronomical Photographer of the Year 2021
© ‘California Dreamin’ by Terry Hancock – Star and Nebulae Award Winner – Astronomical Photographer of the Year 2021

Aurora – Dmitrii Rybalka

© 'Polar Lights Dance' by Dmitrii Rybalka - Winner of the Aurorae category - Astronomy photographer of the year 2021
© ‘Polar Lights Dance’ by Dmitrii Rybalka – Winner of the Aurorae category – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021

Skyscapes – Jeffrey Lovelace

© 'Luna Dunes' by Jeffrey Lovelace - winner of the Skyscapes category - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021
© ‘Luna Dunes’ by Jeffrey Lovelace – winner of the Skyscapes category – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021

People and Space – Deepal Ratnayaka

© 'Lockdown' by Deepal Ratnayaka - People and Space Category Winner - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021
© ‘Lockdown’ by Deepal Ratnayaka – People and Space Category Winner – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021

Our Moon – Nicolas Lefaudeux

© 'Beyond the Limb' by Nicolas Le Faudeux - Winner of the Our Moon - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 category
© ‘Beyond the Limb’ by Nicolas Lefaudeux – Winner of the Our Moon – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 category

Our Sun – Shuchang Dong

© 'The Golden Ring' by Shuchang Dong - Overall winner and winner of the Our Sun category - Astronomy photographer of the year 2021
© ‘The Golden Ring’ by Shuchang Dong – Overall winner and winner of the Our Sun category – Astronomy photographer of the year 2021

Planets, Comets and Asteroids – Frank Kuszaj

© 'A colorful quadrantid meteor' by Frank Kuszaj - winner of the Planets, Comets and Asteroids category - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021
© ‘A colorful quadrantid meteor’ by Frank Kuszaj – winner of the Planets, Comets and Asteroids category – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021

Galaxies – Zhong Wu

© 'The Milky Ring' by Zhong Wu - Galaxies Category Winner - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021
© ‘The Milky Ring’ by Zhong Wu – Galaxies Category Winner – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year – Zhipu Wang

© 'Solar System Family Photo' by 至 璞 王 - Winner of Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021
© ‘Solar System Family Photo’ by Zhipu Wang 至 璞 王 – Winner of Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021

If you would like to see more of the best photographs, you can check out the entire gallery of shortlisted images on the competition website. here.

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