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Awe-inspiring photos of space: Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022 shortlist

Suburbs of Carina Nebula
Suburbs of Carina Nebula, taken in General Pacheco, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina (Image credit: Ignacio Diaz Bobillo - Astronomy Photographer of the Year)

There is something incredibly awe-inspiring about photographing the night sky, and this year's shortlist for Astronomy Photographer of the Year includes some of the most dazzling natural phenomena known to man. From sparkling stars in the milky way to the luminous green of the Aurelia Borealis dancing across the sky, this years competition is strong.

Whether you're taking a photo of a blood moon (opens in new tab) or capturing dazzling constellations and magical night skies using the right kit will help you on your way. While the best cameras for astrophotography (opens in new tab) will be a massive help, you can also invest in accessories such as the best light pollution filters (opens in new tab) or the best telescopes for astrophotography (opens in new tab) when you get more serious about it.

Hydra's Pinwheel (Image credit: Peter Ward - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022)

Amateur and professional photographers alike are invited to enter the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, which is run by the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. Last year's competition received more than 3,000 images from 67 countries around the world, so we can only expect to see even more amazing photos submitted his year.

2022's shortlisted images include an enormous, harvest moon rising behind Glastonbury Tor, the Northern lights illuminating the Gudar shipwreck in Iceland and a composite image of the lunar south pole. 

Categories were broken down into: Astronomy Photographer of the Year, Overall Winner, Skyscapes, Aurorae, People and Space, Our Sun, Our Moon, Planets, Comets and Asteroids, Stars and Nebulae, Galaxies and finally, the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year – which is open to budding photographers under 16. 

An Icelandic Saga (Image credit: Carl Gallagher - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022)

Now in its 14th year, the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Award is one of the most prestigious awards for those whose passion is shooting the night sky. This year, one of the recurring themes in people's images was the effects of light pollution. Zezhen Zhou who has been shortlisted for the Young Astronomy Photographer of the year award said: "If you're in a city it doesn't mean that the stars are leaving you. I think that this image not only shows the beauty of the night sky but also tells us we shouldn't lose our love of astronomy because of the bad environment.

The winner will be announced at a special online ceremony on 15 September and all winning images will be displayed at the National Maritime Museum in London from 17 September. There will also be a book published containing all winning and shortlisted images which will be made available on 29 September. 

Scroll below to see some of our favorite shortlisted images or head to the website to see the full gallery (opens in new tab).

Equinox Moon and Glastonbury Tor (Image credit: Hannah Rochford - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022)

A little devil riding on the head of a dragon (Image credit: Nan Wang/ Binyu Wang - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022)

Clouds of Hydrogen Gas (Image credit: Simon Tang - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022)

NGC6888 the Crescent Nebula (Image credit: Bray Falls - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022)

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Hannah Rooke
Hannah Rooke

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.