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from Line to Culture – the magazine

Astral Perspective

The radius of our life, however expansive it might be,
remains a miniscule spot on the globe

By Tami Klein

Posted in ,

Posted in     |     13  December 2022

An exhibition of extraordinary photographs, taken by astronomers, further clarifies how small we are,
and… the glorious immensity of the universe.

We travelled  45-minutes to Greenwich, to visit an exhibition that would leave almost all viewers, in my opinion, euphoric. We, who dwell on earth, who are we?!

The National Maritime Museum, part of the Royal Museums in Greenwich, houses an exhibition of astral photographs, taken by both adult astronomers and young people. I spent a long time looking at almost every photo, amazed at what my eyes beheld. I tried repeatedly to connect to the text explaining the subject of the photograph, where and how, in an attempt to relate, as best I could, to what the astronomer-photographer saw. Did I succeed? Maybe. A bit. Mostly, I was very moved by the feeling evoked by the images before my eyes.

When viewing the exhibition, I returned to some of the photographs a second or third time. My excitement subsided and I began to revel in the aesthetic surprise I beheld. I had never seen such a concentration of extraordinary images; therefore, I had never experienced a perspective emerging from sights other than those familiar to me. At the end of the visit, I felt that I had been “enlarged,” thanks to the richness and variety of the photographs.

Dear readers, I want to share with you the emotions behind the last sentence in the previous paragraph, and therefore decided to present some of the photographs I took at the exhibition, together with the captions posted next to them. Separating the image from its context would undermine the uniqueness of the exhibition. Further details are provided at the end of the article, for anyone interested in more information.

I highly recommend that you take a few vacation days to visit this extraordinary exhibition. I should emphasize that the photographs in this article are part of a competition for the most unique photographs on the subject, drawn from a pool that is likely much larger.

Misty Green River © Fred Bailey

Andromeda Galaxy, The Neighbour © Yang Hanwen, Zhou Zezhen

Moon: Big Mosaic © Andrea Vanoni

Disconnection Event © Gerald Rhemann

Equinox Moon and Glastonbury Tor © Hannah Rochford

Majestic Sombrero Galaxy © Utkarsh Mishra, Michael Petrasko, Muir Evenden

Winged Aurora © Alexander Stepanenko

Stabbing Into the Stars © Zihui Hu

Badwater Milky Way © Abhijit Patil

the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year 14 (2022) competition and/or exhibition.


Planets, Comets & Asteroids – More details:

Planets, Comets & Asteroids  
Winner and Overall Winner

Disconnection Event © Gerald Rhemann

Tivoli Southern Sky Guest Farm, Khomas, Namibia, 25 December 2021

Comet Leonard was discovered by G.J. Leonard on 3 January 2021. It made its closest pass on 12 December 2021 and, having left the Solar System, won’t be seen from Earth again. On 25 December 2021, a dramatic tail disconnection event happened. A piece of Comet Leonard’s tail was pinched off and carried away by the solar wind.

“Astronomy, myth and art come together beautifully in this shot. It holds great value to scientists, as it elegantly captures a disconnection event. Yet this photograph, which was taken on Christmas Day, seems to tell an otherworldly story too – it could be the Star of Bethlehem, an angel or a fairy soaring through the night sky.” – Imad Ahmed

ASA 12” Astrograph telescope, ASA DDM 85 mount, ZWO ASI6200MM Pro camera, 1076 mm f/3.6, mosaic of two LRGB composite panels, 400-second exposure per panel.

Runner Up

The Jovian Family © Damian Peach

El Sauce Observatory, Río Hurtado, Coquimbo, Chile, 5 August 2021

Here, Jupiter can be seen alongside three of the planet’s largest moons. The famous Great Red Spot is clearly visible on Jupiter itself, along with many other spots and storms. Similar details are also evident on all three of the Jovian moons. The bright ray crater Osiris can be seen on the moon Ganymede at the upper left.

“Not only has the photographer shown the vibrancy of the colours in Jupiter’s turbulent upper atmosphere (with the distinctive Great Red Spot framed beautifully too) and Galilean moons in orbit, but also colour and detail on the moons themselves. Imaging Jupiter and its moons is a popular experiment for astrophotographers but doing it so successfully puts this capture in very rare company indeed.” – Ed Bloomer

ASA 1000 RC telescope, ZWO ASI174MM camera, aperture 1000 mm, focal length 16,000 mm, multiple video frames

Highly Commended

Cosmic Rose © Lionel Majzik

Mayhill, New Mexico, USA, 4 and 9 October 2021

On 4 October 2021, it appeared as though Comet 4P/Faye had split the emission nebula Sh2-261 in the constellation Orion. The object, also known as the Lower’s Nebula, is reminiscent of a red rose, but the appearance of the comet completed the ‘rose’ with a ‘rose stem’.

“Capturing a specific moment in time is one of the greatest powers of photography. This photograph belongs to a select few in astrophotography, where the timing is exceptional. To tell the truth, I have never seen a comet running in front of the very centre of a beautiful circular H II region – it’s a truly unique composition.” – László Francsics

Planewave CDK20 telescope, Planewave Ascension 200HR mount, FLI ProLine 11002M camera, 2280 mm f/4.5, 3 x 300-second and 18 x 120-second Lum. exposures, 3 x 300-second and 3 x 120-second R/G/B exposures, 3 x 300-second H-alpha exposures


Stabbing Into the Stars © Zihui Hu

Nyingchi, Tibet, China, 24 December 2021

Namcha Barwa is the most beautiful snow-capped mountain in China. The name of the mountain in Tibetan means ‘spear thrusting into the sky’. This untouched land is also home to the purest of starry skies, the trails of which weave a wide net even on Full Moon days. Namcha Barwa, like a spear, pierces this net.

“I love the juxtaposition of the star trails against the clear peak of the mountain. The motion of the clouds adds to the drama.” – Sheila Kanani

Sony ILCE-7R3 camera, Tamron 150–500mm lens, 150mm f/5.6, 75 x 30-second exposures

Runner Up

Badwater Milky Way © Abhijit Patil

Death Valley, California, USA, 2 September 2021

Some of the most exquisite locations in Death Valley National Park are the salt flats at Badwater Basin. Located 86 metres below sea level, the basin is the lowest point in North America. Every winter brings new rainwater to the flats and the continuous freeze-thaw-evaporate process creates these hexagonal patterns in the mud.

“I have never seen anything like this! I love the majestic beauty of the Milky Way against the harsh and ugly salt plains. The hexagons of the flats are like a honeycomb. I think blending these two phenomena is very clever.” – Sheila Kanani

iOptron SkyGuider Pro mount, Nikon Z6 II camera, 14 mm f/3.5 and f/11, ISO 100/1000, Sky: 300-second exposure Foreground: 5-second exposure

Highly Commended

The Night Highway © Filip Hrebenda

Stokksnes Peninsula, Iceland, 11 April 2021

On a clear night, Hrebenda was able to catch a rare photograph of the Milky Way and an aurora in a single image. They appear over the famous Vestrahorn mountains in Iceland.

“This photograph is a testament to dedicated photographers everywhere. It might have taken just a fraction of a second to capture, but the planning, dedication and commitment are the ingredients that make the difference in producing an image as wonderful as this. The foreground neatly leads us towards the mountain, backlit by the aurorae and with a guest appearance from the Milky Way.” – Alan Sparrow

Sony ILCE-7RM3A camera, 16 mm f/2.8, ISO 3200, 10-second exposure

People & Space  

The International Space Station Transiting Tranquility Base © Andrew McCarthy

Florence, Arizona, USA, 19 January 2022

This image features the International Space Station (ISS) positioned directly over the Apollo 11 Moon-landing site on the Sea of Tranquility. The moment only lasted a handful of milliseconds and required  precise positioning to capture the pass at the perfect time.

“The symbol of man, the tiny silhouette of the ISS, is dwarfed by the vast and detailed lunar surface, coloured by mineral deposits. It shows us just how fragile we are.” – László Francsics

“This is a wonderfully original take on this category and it reminds us that we live in a time when humans have a permanent presence in space.” – Melissa Brobby

Celestron C11 and Explore Scientific AR127 telescopes, iOptron CEM70 mount, UV/IR Cut filter, ZWO ASI174MM and Sony A7 II cameras, 2,800 mm f/10, 0.3-millisecond exposure

Runner Up

Back to the Spaceship © Mihail Minkov

Buzludzha, Balkan Mountains, Stara Zagora Province, Bulgaria, 12 August 2021

Built between 1974 and 1981, this spaceship-like structure was designed by Georgi Stoilov and involved the removal of more than 15,000 cubic metres of rock from the peak of Buzludzha, reducing the mountain’s height by 9 metres. Although the building is now closed to the public, its space-age silhouette is the perfect complement for dramatic images of the night sky.

“An exceptional image of an iconic Brutalist building, perched on the northernmost edge of Bulgaria’s Balkan Mountains. The spaceship-like structure, combined with the luminous skyscape and the ascending figure, create an eerie yet calming symphony.” – Hannah Lyons

Sony A7 III camera, Foreground: 15 mm f/5.6, ISO 100, 3.2-second exposure, Sky: 28 mm f/3.5, ISO 800, 240-second exposure

Highly Commended

Equinox Moon and Glastonbury Tor © Hannah Rochford

A single exposure captures people enjoying the full Harvest Moon rising behind Glastonbury Tor in the United Kingdom in September 2021.

“All the judges loved that this image was precisely planned but didn’t feel staged: a peek at foreground figures, some of whom seem to be viewing the moon in reverence (and some who don’t seem to be paying much attention…). For all its beauty and celebratory mood, there is perhaps an undercurrent of unease, seeing a human construct like the Tor absolutely dwarfed by the Earth’s natural satellite.” – Ed Bloomer

Glastonbury, Somerset, UK

Taken with Sigma 150600 mm telescope, SLIK tripod, Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, 600 mm f/6.37, 1/8-second exposure


In the Embrace of a Green Lady © Filip Hrebenda

Hvalnes, Iceland, 10 April 2021

The Northern Lights are one of the most interesting natural phenomena. Although they are usually shot in the winter months, this photograph was taken during the late spring. It shows the dancing Aurora Borealis, reflected in a little frozen lake above the Eystrahorn mountain.

“I love this photo because it really sums up aurorae for me: the green ‘swoosh’ reflected in the icy lake, the clarity of the edges of the ice blocks and the looming shadow of the mountain.” – Sheila Kanani

Sony ILCE-7RM3A camera, 16 mm f/2.8, ISO 2500 Sky: 5-second exposure Foreground: 20-second exposure

Runner Up

Misty Green River © Fred Bailey

Near Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, 1 September 2021

This photo, captured over Cameron River in Canada’s Northwest Territories, shows the differentiation between the aurora and the dark sky.

“I loved the composition of this shot, balancing motion and stillness. The aurora appears to be arrested and held in the middle of the sky, only to pour down onto the trees and into Cameron River below.” – Imad Ahmed

Pentax K-5 II S camera, 18 mm f/3.5, ISO 1600, 15-second exposure

Highly Commended

Winged Aurora © Alexander Stepanenko

Murmansk, Murmansk Oblast, Russia, 15 January 2022

A ‘winged aurora’ crowning the mountain in Murmansk, appearing like an angel against a clear sky.

“Aurora pictures are always beautiful to look at, but never have such images stopped me in my tracks like this one. This wonderfully fortunate capture is simplistic in its beauty but the sheer majesty of the Winged Aurora looming over the mountain is breathtaking. I haven’t stopped looking at this picture in awe.” – Melissa Brobby

“It’s not uncommon to spot shapes during an auroral display but this bird is one of the best we have ever seen. It has so much movement and dynamism in it.” – Steve Marsh

Nikon D850 camera, 12 mm f/4, ISO 3200, 1.6-second exposure


Majestic Sombrero Galaxy © Utkarsh Mishra, Michael Petrasko, Muir Evenden

Pie Town, New Mexico, USA, 5 May 2021

This image shows the faint star streams that were created when a smaller galaxy collided with, and its remnants then began to orbit, the Milky Way. Three versions of the photograph were made: a muted version for the background, a regular version for the disc and a super-stretched starless version for the stellar streams and halo. They were then combined into a single image.

“The Sombrero is a well documented galaxy, yet astrophotographers still find ways to tease more majesty from it. To see the misty remnants of previous collisions surrounding the galaxy, itself floating alone in the void, is just exquisite.” – Steve Marsh

ATEO 16″ f/3.7 Dreamscope Astrograph Newtonian telescope, Paramount ME II mount, Baader LRGB filter, FLI Proline 16803 CCD camera, 1558 mm f/3.7, 56 x 300-second Lum. exposures (10 hours total exposure), 1×1 binning

Runner Up

Arp 271 “Cosmic Collision” © Mark Hanson, Mike Selby

El Sauce Observatory, Río Hurtado, Coquimbo Region, Chile, 3 June 2021–1 January 2022

NGC 5426 and NGC 5427 are two spiral galaxies of similar size engaged in a major interaction. Known collectively as Arp 271, the interaction is expected to continue for tens of millions of years.

“The scale of this picture boggles the mind! The vast size of each of these spiral galaxies is almost beyond comprehension, yet here they are presented in a single stunning photograph, appearing almost to be playing with each other.” – Imad Ahmed

CDK 1000 telescope and RiDK 700 FL 4900 telescope (RGB values), CDK 1000 mount, FLI 16803 camera, 6000 mm f/6, 32 hours total exposure

Highly Commended

SMC and the Magellanic Bridge © Mathew Ludgate

Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand, 31 August 2021– 4 November 2021

The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is an irregular dwarf galaxy that has been disrupted and shaped by interactions with its neighbours, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Milky Way Galaxy. These interactions result in intense gravitational tidal shocks, which have stripped and redistributed material from the SMC, forming a halo and numerous extended structures of ionized gas.

“The Small Magellanic Cloud is often overlooked in favour of its big brother, but it is an amazing example of a dwarf galaxy on our doorstep. Nowhere has its detail been better realized by a ground-based astrophotographer.” – Steve Marsh

Nikon 400mm f/2.8-lens telescope, Rainbow Astro RST-135 mount, Chroma Filters, ZWO ASI6200MM Pro camera, multiple 5-minute exposures totalling 51.25 hours

Our Moon  

Shadow Profile of Plato’s East Rim © Martin Lewis

St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK, 20 April 2021

Once a month the Sun rises over the giant lunar crater Plato and casts huge shadows from its east rim across its lava-filled floor. Occasionally this event coincides with a night of good seeing. The night of 20 April 2021 was one such rare night – with steady skies and the Moon high overhead, the dark, projected rim-profile was visible in exquisite detail.

“This close-up of the Plato crater has become one of my favourite photographs of the Moon. This image of the east rim being hit by the Sun’s rays is wondrously unique and proves that, no matter how often we look at the Moon, it always has many more wonderful sights for us to observe.” – Melissa Brobby

“I never tire of looking at craters on the Moon, but this shot of Plato took my breath away with its long, sweeping shadows. If you consider the length and scale of those shadows and the mountains that create them, this image really is a deserving winner.” – Steve Marsh

Home-built 444 mm Dobsonian Newtonian reflector telescope, home-built Equatorial Tracking Platform mount, Astronomik 642nm IR filter lens, ZWO ASI174MM camera, 12.8 m f/29, multiple 29-millisecond exposures

Runner Up

Moon: Big Mosaic © Andrea Vanoni

Porto Mantovano, Lombardy, Italy, 19 January 2021

This is a 32-panel mosaic of the crescent Moon. In this image you can see the most famous craters, rims, mountains, domes and seas of this lunar phase.

“The creation of mosaics is a popular aspect of lunar astrophotography, yet the immense amount of work that goes into one can never be understated. This mosaic goes a step further with perfect processing and balance of light and dark shades from terminator to limb.” – Steve Marsh

Newton GSO 300 mm F5 telescope, ZWO ASI178MM camera, Celestron Ultima 2x lens, 32 frames of varying exposure

Highly Commended

An Eclipse From a Thousand Sunsets © Noah Kujawski

Lakeville, Minnesota, USA, 19 November 2021

This photograph of the lunar eclipse in November 2021 shows the fantastic red colour created by light passing through all the Earth’s sunrises and sunsets, casting a blood-red light onto the Moon.

“I loved this evocative image: the blood red colouring, the intricate details of the Moon’s surface and, of course, the blinding glow!” – Hannah Lyons

Celestron CPC 1100 telescope, ZWO ASI183MC camera, 2800 mm f/10, 180-millisecond exposures

Our Sun  

A Year in the Sun © Soumyadeep Mukherjee

Kolkata, West Bengal, India, 31 December 2021

Mukherjee imaged the Sun for 365 days between 25 December 2020 and 31 December 2021 (missing just 6 days during this period).  After a year, he blended the images to create a single shot The sunspots create two bands on the solar disc, around 15–35 degrees north and south of the equator and gradually start drifting towards it (a phenomenon known as Spörer’s law).

“The commitment and diligence (not to mention luck) needed to image the Sun every day for a year is a feat within itself. But, more than just a matter of hard work, this photographer has achieved a fascinating and unique look at the progression of sunspot bands across its disc.” – Steve Marsh

Nikon D5600 camera, Sigma 150–600c lens, Thousand Oaks Filter (White-Light), 600 mm f/6.3, ISO 100, 365 individual exposures (1/80-second to 1/500-second)

Runner Up

Solar Inferno © Stuart Green

Preston, Lancashire, UK, 19 December 2021

The Sun looks different every time astrophotographers capture an image as new sunspots form, grow and eventually fade away. The photographer selectively filtered out all wavelengths of light except a narrow red band (known as the H-alphaline) to reveal an active region of change of the Sun.

“There is something almost terrifying about getting up close and personal with the surface of the Sun. Nowhere is this better realised than in the turbulent ferocity of this image.” – Steve Marsh

Home-built telescope based on iStar Optical 150 mm objective, Lunt 35 H-alpha etalon lens, EQ6 Pro mount, Basler acA1920-155um camera, 5100 mm f/34, 2,500 x 0.02-second exposures (50-second total exposure)

Highly Commended

A Giant in the Sun’s Limb © Miguel Claro

Dark Sky Alqueva region, Évora district, Portugal, 7 February 2022

A gigantic solar prominence appears over the chromosphere (the Sun’s lower atmosphere) of the limb (the apparent edge of the Sun). This giant was visible for two days in February 2022 and then erupted, throwing a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) into space.

“I loved this image for two reasons. Firstly, for the sheer level detail on the surface of the Sun, showing us its gorgeous texture. And then, of course, there is the dramatic prominence – masterfully capturing the fiery drama of our very own indomitable Sun!” – Imad Ahmed

SkyWatcher Esprit ED120 telescope, SkyWatcher EQ6 mount Daystar Quark Prominence filter, QHYCCD QHY5III174M camera, 840 mm f/7, video capture

Stars & Nebulae  

The Eye of God © Weitang Liang

Chilescope, Río Hurtado, Coquimbo Region, Chile, 8 August 2021

This ultra-deep exposure of the ‘Eye of God’, also known as the Helix Nebula or NGC 7293, reveals the glorious colours of the core and rarely seen surrounding details. The core appears in purple and cyan, creating an ethereal and dreamy feeling. The stunning orange, red and yellow outer region shows the power of the cosmos – all the matter is moving, colliding and tumbling.

“The colours in this photograph make for a stunning composition – from the fiery red to the defiant, moody blue at the centre of the ‘eye’. It’s easy to see how the ancients used to stargaze into the heavens and imagine that the cosmos was looking back, keeping a watchful eye over us.” – Imad Ahmed

ASA N20 f/3.8 Newtonian telescope, ASA DDM85 mount, FLI Proline 16803 camera, 500 mm f/3.8, 22.5 hours total exposure

Runner Up

What a Flaming Star! © Martin Cohen

Fareham, Hampshire, UK, 22 February 2022

The Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405, SH 2-229 or Caldwell 31) is an emission and reflection nebula in the constellation Auriga. It lies about 1,500 light years from Earth and is about 5 light years across.

“A stunning image of a beautiful complex of interstellar clouds of gas and dust illuminated by a hot O-type star. The nebula’s dusty filaments reflect the starlight, producing a variety of shapes and colourful wisps. Masterful image processing reveals an almost three-dimensional view of the whole scene.” – Yuri Beletsky

Celestron EdgeHD 11 with HyperStar v4 telescope, SkyWatcher EQ8-R Pro mount, Baader Ultra- High-Speed Narrowband filters, ZWO ASI2600MM Pro camera, 540 mm f/1.8, 18 x 300-second exposures per filter (SII/Halpha/OIII)

Highly Commended

The Centre of the Heart Nebula © Péter Feltóti

Törökkoppány, Somogy, and Halásztelek, Pest, Hungary, 29–31 October, 23 and 29 November, 7 December 2021

IC 1805 is an area of vast amounts of ionized gas and interstellar dust. The strong stellar wind of the hot stars born here blows the surrounding material outwards, creating a cave-like hollow shape in the parent gas cloud.

“There are many captures of this target, but few appear unique. Stunning details, beautiful contrast of colours and a new composition are what make this image outstanding. Not only the central region, but also the surrounding regions are revealed in a panorama that shows how strong forces shape and tear apart the nebulae on a horizontal plane.” – László Francsics

200/800 SkyWatcher telescope, SkyWatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Moravian Instruments G3-16200 Mark II camera, 920 mm f/4.6, 13.5-hour exposure (H-alpha), 10-hour exposure (OIII), 10-hour exposure (SII)

The Annie Maunder Prize for Digital Innovation

Solar Tree © Pauline Woolley, using open source data from Solar Dynamic Observatory

The making of this work derived from my research into carbon-14 traces found in some studies of tree-ring dating or dendrochronology. Twenty-six images of the Sun from the first part of Solar Cycle 25 have been layered to create concentric rings. The oldest ‘ring’ lies in the centre while the most recent sits furthest away. Month by month, the rings expand or ‘grow’ to form the rings of an imaginary solar tree. The overall image is a marking of the passing of time, which incorporates visual evidence of increasing levels of solar activity apparent in the dark markings of solar flares.

“Dendrochronology – the scientific method of calculating dates based on tree rings – is used by art historians and conservators to date wood panel paintings, but here the technology has been utilized to create an unusual and beautiful composition. This is an innovative photograph that immediately astonished all the judges.” – Hannah Lyons

Original images from the AIA 0131 Angstrom channel of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) (1 January 2020 to 1 February 2022). Images inverted then converted to black and white and contrast increased. Warm filter applied to give tree-like feeling

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Andromeda Galaxy, The Neighbour © Yang Hanwen, Zhou Zezhen

Chuxiong, Yunnan Province, China, 21 February 2021

The Andromeda Galaxy, or Messier 31 (M31), is one of the closest and largest neighbours of the Milky Way. M31 is also the most distant object the human eye can see. When you look at it with the naked eye it’s like a fog, but through the telescope it shows its magnificence. Yang Hanwen provided the original picture of M31.

“From the dark dust lanes to the HII regions, this young photographer has expertly bought out the galaxy’s stunning details to produce a vibrant image. One of my favourite pictures from the competition!” – Melissa Brobby

SkyWatcher 150/750P telescope, iOptron CEM70 mount, Antlia LRGB, HYO H-alpha filter, ZWO ASI294MM Pro camera, 750 mm f/5, 17 hours total exposure

Highly Commended

Mineral Moon Moasic © Peter Szabo

Debrecen, Hungary, 9 February 2022

This image is a high-resolution lunar mosaic, consisting of 34 panels.

“This is an advanced lunar image, with high resolution, a very detailed surface and outstanding post-processing. The hypersaturated colour data makes this image a remarkable twenty-firstcentury visual experience, free from exaggeration. Excellent work from a young astrophotographer!” – László Francsics

SkyWatcher 200/1000 Newtonian telescope, SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro GOTO mount, 2 x Barlow lens, ZWO ASI120MC-S camera, 1000 mm f/5, 34 images of 160 x 7-millisecond frames, 1.12 seconds per image, 38.08-second total exposure

Highly Commended

A Rainbow Rose © Saahil Sinha

Santa Ana, California, USA, 5 January 2022

Thanks to how bright it is, as well as its good placement in the autumn-winter night sky, the Rosette Nebula is a popular candidate for astrophotographers of every level.

“A truly remarkable image of the Rosette Nebula. Radiation and winds from its central cluster of hot young stars define the beautiful symmetric shape of the nebula. The photographer did a wonderful job combining a set of narrowband images to produce the final result.” – Yuri Beletsky

CFF Telescopes CFF92 F/6 telescope, Antlia 3-nm H-alpha, OIII and SII filters, SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro mount, QHYCCD QHY163M camera, 441 mm f/4.8, 6 hours total exposure

Highly Commended

The Crab Nebula in Hydrogen and Oxygen © Julian Shapiro

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, 13 December 2021

This image shows the Crab Nebula, a beautiful remnant of a star that died a thousand years ago. At the very centre of the image is the Crab Pulsar, the remains of the star

“Capturing the complex structures in the remnant’s expanding outer layers so clearly and producing such vivid colours without oversaturating the image is extremely challenging. It is, admittedly, one of my favourite astronomical objects; to see it depicted with such clarity and brilliance is an absolute joy.” – Ed Bloomer

Celestron C8 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, Orion Atlas Pro mount, Optolong L-eNhance filter, ZWO ASI294MC Pro camera, 1280 mm f/6.3, multiple 2-minute exposures (2 hours total)

The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer

The Heart of the Heart – Melotte 15 © Hannah Rochford

Bruton, Somerset, UK, 13–15, 18, 27, 28 and 30 January 2022

Melotte 15 is an open star cluster within the Heart Nebula. It is in the Cassiopeia constellation, approximately 7,500 light years from Earth. Hannah Rochford, who began deep-sky imaging in November 2021, worked over five nights in January 2022 to capture this remarkable photograph – only her third mono image.

SkyWatcher Evostar 80ED telescope (with 0.85x reducer), Baader ultra narrowband filters, SkyWatcher EQ6R-pro mount, ZW0 ASI2600MM

Pro camera, 510 mm f/6.37, 333 x 300-second (H-alpha x 102, OIII x 129, SII x 102) exposures

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