The fiery comet’s tail is whipped by solar winds in a stunning astronomy photo

An ethereal image of Comet Leonard traveling against the solar wind has won first prize in the Royal Observatory Greenwich Astronomical Photographer of the Year competition.

Austrian photographer Gerald Rhemann captured the view of the comet and its long tail on Christmas Day 2021 from Namibia. Rhemann’s image reveals a ghostly veil of gas from the comet captured and carried away by the solar wind.

“This award is one of the highlights of my astrophotography work,” Rhemannr said in a statement. “All the effort to make this picture a success was worth it.”

Comet Leonard was discovered in January 2021 and came closest to Earth in December of that year. His cock took a twisted streamer appearance during this approach that the charged particles of the Sun – known as the solar wind – interacted with charged particles in the comet’s wake. Rhemann’s photograph is a once-in-a-lifetime image: Astronomers say Comet Leonard’s trajectory will now take it deep into interstellar space, never to return to the center solar system.

The aurora glows green above an ice-covered lake in the winning photograph in the Aurorae category.

The aurora glows green above an ice-covered lake in the winning photograph in the Aurorae category. (Image credit: Filip Hrebenda, Royal Museums Greenwich Astronomy Photographer of the Year 14 Competition)

The winning image was one of many remarkable and unusual photos entered into the competition. “There are some things you will never have seen before, and even some things you will never see again,” Ed Bloomer, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, said in the statement.

The International Space Station is silhouetted against the Moon's Sea of ​​Tranquility in black in the winning photograph in the People and Space category.

The International Space Station is silhouetted against the Moon’s Sea of ​​Tranquility in black in the winning photograph in the People and Space category. (Image credit: Andrew McCarthy, Royal Museums Greenwich Astronomical Photographer of the Year competition)

Other category winners include “Andromeda Galaxy: The Neighbour,” a scintillating photograph of the largest spiral galaxy closest to our own. Milky Way galaxy, captured by 14-year-old Chinese Yang Hanwen and Zhou Zezhen. Their image won the Young Photographer category. Slovak photographer Filip Hrebenda won first prize in the Aurorae category with a photograph of a brilliant green aurora rising above an ice-covered Icelandic lake. Martin Lewis from the UK won the Moon category with a striking image of shadows extending over a large crater known as Plato on the moon’s surface.

The International Space Station (ISS) looks like a toy in the winning entry People and Space by American photographer Andrew McCarthy. McCarthy captured the silhouette of the ISS on the Sea of ​​Tranquility – a dark basalt plane on the face of the moon, and the site of the first manned lunar landing. Meanwhile, sunspots speckle the solar surface in “A Year in the Sun,” which shows how these cold areas on the sun’s surface drift over the course of a year. Indian photographer Soumyadeep Mukherjee won first prize in the Sun category for this image.

Zihui Hu from China won the Skyscapes category with a photo contrasting snow-capped peaks with streaking stars in the night sky. India’s Utkarsh Mishra, USA’s Michael Petrasko and USA’s Muir Evenden captured a shot of a supernatural orange galactic disc in their winning photograph in the Galaxies category. Finally, space seems to stare back at the viewer in Weitang Liang’s “The Eye of God” – a fiery image of the Helix Nebula that topped the stars and nebulae category.

A full gallery of winners and runners-up can be seen at Royal Museums Greenwich’s contest website. The photographs will also be on display at the National Maritime Museum in London from September 17.

Originally posted on Live Science.

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