The 13th annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year Competition conducted by the Royal Observatory in Greenwich has produced an awe-inspiring array of images of cosmic phenomena, from colorful nebulae to solar eclipses to swirling storm clouds above Jupiter. The winner of the competition, “The Golden Ring,” by Shuchang Dong of China, is a spectacular image of the annular solar eclipse—starkly simple in its composition but mesmerizingly beautiful in its symmetry and in the contrast created by the yellow ring of the sun against the dark blue sky.
Chosen out of more than 4,500 submissions from 75 different countries, winning photographs were selected from a number of categories, including “Our Sun,” “Aurorae,” “Galaxies,” “Our Moon,” “Planets, Comets, and Asteroids,” and “Stars and Nebulae,” and each breathtaking photograph contributes in its own way to a deeper understanding of—and connection to—the wonder of space and the place that our planet has in the wider universe.
“The Golden Ring,” by Shuchang Dong (China)
On 21 June 2020 there was an annular solar eclipse and the photographer made sure not to miss it. He decided to go to Ali in Tibet to shoot it because it has year-round sunny weather. However, during the annular eclipse, there were dark clouds all over the sky. The anticipation was high but within a minute of the annular eclipse, the sunshine pierced through the clouds and the photographer was lucky to capture that moment. Afterwards the Sun disappeared again.
“The Sun Sharing its Crown With a Comet,” by Vincent Bouchama (France)
This composition shows the full range of events of a total solar eclipse: The earthshine, prominences…