Incredible space photo dubbed ‘the best picture of a dying comet ever’

An award-winning image of a dying comet has stunned both photo competition judges and the internet.

Austrian astrophotographer Gerald Rhemann was awarded Astronomy Photographer of the Year by the Royal Observatory Greenwich for this snapshot.

Rhemann named the photo "separation event"


Rhemann called the photo “Disconnection Event”Photo credit: mediadrumimages/RoyalMuseumGreenwich/Gerald Rhemann

The photo shows a disruption event — the point at which solar particles tear a comet’s tail from the comet itself.

“Astronomy, myth and art come together beautifully in this recording,” said competition judge Imad Ahmed.

“It’s of great value to scientists because it elegantly captures a disruption event.”

Rhemann took the photo in Namibia on Christmas Day 2021 and submitted it in the Planets, Comets and Asteroids category of the 2022 Royal Observatory Greenwich competition.

“A piece of Comet Leonard’s tail was pinched off and carried away by the solar wind,” Rhemann said.

“I was very fortunate that the weather was superb at Tivoli Farm in Namibia when I opened the observatory roof.

“I realized that the comet’s tail looked dramatic in the first image I took, so I decided to widen the field of view with a second image, and that’s where the break happened.”

live science reported that Comet Leonard will continue toward interstellar space and not pass through the inner solar system again.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich announced the photo, titled Disconnection Event, as the winner in a virtual ceremony on September 15.

A quarter of the entries in the Planets, Comets and Asteroids category featured Comet Leonard, according to competition organizers Royal Museums Greenwich.

Eleven other spectacular photographs also received awards, including images of the International Space Station, the Aurora Borealis over Iceland and glittering sunspots.

Two of the runners-up also showed Comet Leonard in action.

A full gallery of famous photographs across 10 categories can be viewed for free at the Royal Museums Greenwich website. Incredible space photo dubbed ‘the best picture of a dying comet ever’

Fry Electronics Team

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