Winners of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 competition have just been announced. The annual astronomy photography competition, now in its 13th year, is hosted by the Royal Observatory Greenwich and drew more than 4,500 entries, including many featuring images of distant galaxies that require the use of powerful telescopes.
The overall winner of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 was Shuchang Dong who took this deceptively simple photo of a solar eclipse titled "The Golden Ring" shown above. Dong took the photo in the Ali region of Tibet on June 21, 2020.
"This place has year-round sunny weather, but in front of the annular eclipse, I saw dark clouds all over the sky," Dong said, "We were waiting with anxious minds but we were lucky. Within a minute of the annular eclipse, the sunshine penetrated through the clouds and afterwards the Sun was sucked into the thick clouds."
"This image demonstrates both the beauty and simplicity of an eclipse, but also the science behind this astronomical event," noted competition judge Emily Drabek-Maunder, "Our sun can still be seen as a ring circling the Moon as it passes in front of the Sun, and mountains on the lunar surface can be seen hiding some of this light on the lower righthand portion of the image. This is a stunning achievement!"
View more of the fantastic photos of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition below.
People and Space Winner: Lockdown by Deepal Ratnayaka (UK)
Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year Winner: Family Photo of the Solar System by Zhi Puwang, age 15 (China)
The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovatino - Joint Winners: Celestial Fracture by Leonardo Di Maggio (UK)