Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021 winners announced
The winning images of the world's biggest astrophotography competition have been announced.
The winning images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 13 competition have been revealed during an online ceremony hosted by the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
The winning image in 2021 is a capture of the 21 June 2020 annular solar eclipse, showing the Moon blocking out most of the solar disc and leaving only a thin ring of sunlight shining through.
The image, entitled The Golden Ring, was the top image in the Our Sun category, and also scooped the top spot as winner of the whole competition.
Photographer Shuchang Dong of China travelled to Tibet to get the capture.
APY 13 judge Emily Drabek-Maunder, who is an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said:
"Solar eclipses have been capturing the interest of humans for thousands of years across the world. This image demonstrates both the beauty and simplicity of an eclipse, but also the science behind this astronomical event.
"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!"
15-year-old Zhipu Wang, also from China, topped the Young Competition category for his beautiful image showing the Sun, the Moon and the planets of the Solar System.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year is the world's biggest astrophotography competition and each year receives thousands of entries from astrophotographers across the globe.
This year 4,500 images were sent in by entrants from 75 countries.
The images are viewed and pored over by the judging panel, who select the winner, runner-up and highly commended entries in each category, along with the top image of the entire competition.
The 2021 judging panel is:
- Jon Culshaw: comedian and amateur astronomer
- Sue Prichard: Senior Curator, Arts at the Royal Museums Greenwich
- Imad Ahmed: Director of New Crescent Society
- Dr Sheila Kanani: Education, Outreach and Diversity officer for the Royal Astronomical Society
- Yuri Beletsky: of Las Campanas Observatory
- Melissa Brobby: journalist, science communicator and Social Media Officer for the Institute of Physics
- Emily Drabek-Maunder: astronomer and science communicator at the Royal Observatory Greenwich
- László Francsics: astrophotographer and chairman of the Hungarian Astrophotographers' Association
- Alan Sparrow: Chair of the UK Picture Editors’ Guild and Director of the UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards
- Steve Marsh: Art Editor at BBC Sky at Night Magazine
The overall winning image of APY 13 received £10,000. Winners of the individual categories received £1,500, with £500 and £250 for runners-up and highly commended images, respectively.
This year's winning images are due to be featured in an exhibition alongside a selection from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 13 shortlist at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, from Saturday 18 September 2021.
To see the all of this year's spectacular winning images, view our gallery below.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021: winning images
For more information on the competition, visit the Astronomy Photographer of the Year website.
Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Content Editor. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.