This Might Be The Most Incredible Photo Captured Of A Dying Comet


Austrian astrophotographer Gerald Rhemann might have given us arguably the best-ever photo of a dying comet. The photo also shows the dazzling tail of the comet with the endless valley of stars in the backdrop. The image is so breathtaking, that some might even find it difficult to believe it’s a real photo.

This Might Be The Most Incredible Photo Captured Of A Dying Comet

Rhemann’s latest work has also earned him the top prize at the Royal Observatory Greenwich's Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest 2022. The cosmic body in question is comet Leonard, which is an extremely bright comet and was first observed in January last year, while it was accelerating through our solar system.

"Astronomy, myth and art come together beautifully in this shot," said Imad Ahmed, contest judge, in a statement. "It holds great value to scientists, as it elegantly captures a disconnection event."

Leonard’s Tail Steals The Show

The comet earned the moniker from its discoverer, Gregory Leonard, who is a senior research specialist at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Since the comet is extremely bright, it is visible to the unaided eye along with its dazzling tail.

The prize-winning photo was chronicled on December 25, 2021, capturing a detailed look at the comet’s tail, usually called a coma. Comets get noticed easily because they shed volatile materials such as gases and dust while they zoom past the inner solar system.

Other Great Entries In The Contest

The comet died when it came too close to the Sun in January this year. But its blaze allowed astrophotographers enough time to capture it in its full glory.

This Might Be The Most Incredible Photo Captured Of A Dying Comet

The contest also saw some other incredible images including an astonishing image of the International Space Station passing in front of the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility. Another entry showed the helix nebula dubbed “Eye of God.”

Rhemann was very pleased to have received the highest honor at the contest. "This award is one of the highlights of my astrophotography work," he said in a statement. "All the effort that went into making this image a success was worth it."

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