Spectacular comet image bags Royal Observatory Greenwich prize

Comet + tail
Disconnection Event (Courtesy: Gerald Rhemann)

Austrian astrophotographer Gerald Rhemann has beaten thousands of amateur and professional photographers from around the world to win the 2022 Astronomy Photographer of the Year.

Rhemann’s image – Disconnection Event – is a photograph of a piece of Comet Leonard’s gas tail being disconnected and carried away by the solar wind. Comet Leonard was first identified in January 2021 and was imaged by Rhemann when he was in Namibia on Christmas Day.

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“This award is one of the highlights of my astrophotography work,” says Rhemann. “All the effort that went into making this image a success was worth it.”

As well as winning the £10 000 top prize, Rhemann’s image will be on display along with other selected pictures from the competition at an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum observatory that opens on 17 September.

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The award – now in its 14th year – is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in association with insurer Liberty Specialty Markets and BBC Sky at Night Magazine.

The competition received over 3000 entries from 67 countries.

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