EarthSky’s top photos from 2021

Top photos from 2021: Greenish meteor streaks downward behind sparse clouds.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Joel Coombs at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, captured this Perseid fireball on August 12, 2021. He wrote: “Two Perseids in one shot, and one is a fireball. Went up to Upper Pahranagat Lake in hopes of getting a couple of shots of the Perseids. With thunderstorms building all day, I wasn’t very hopeful. Clouds were rolling through all night, but there were clearings here and there. Just as the clouds were coming back, I got to see this.” Thank you, Joel! Joel had one of the most-viewed photos at EarthSky Community Photos during 2021. See the top 10 photos from 2021 below.

EarthSky’s top photos from 2021

We have an amazing and supportive community at EarthSky. And one of the best ways to see it in action is to visit EarthSky Community Photos, where people share their recent astrophotos, as well as nature shots from their part of the globe … all while cheering on everyone else’s contributions. You all are awesome, and we love you! We’ve gathered together the most-viewed and clicked-upon photos at EarthSky in 2021, according to Google Analytics. Want to share your images in 2022? Submit recent photos here. And scroll down to see the EarthSky community’s top photos of 2021.

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#10 – Moon’s corona

Colorful ring and thin clouds around a gibbous moon.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Amit Raka in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India, captured this image of the moon’s corona on May 19, 2021. Amit wrote: “Cyclone Tauktae hit India this week and there was a sudden change in weather and temperature, as a heavy rain storm ravaged the coastal lines. There were some clouds on 19th May 2021, evening, and I was able to witness this lunar corona for quite a long time appearing and disappearing, as the clouds came and went. It was a waxing crescent, 47.5% illuminated, as seen in the image. Had a good opportunity to capture this beautiful phenomenon.” Thank you, Amit!

#9 – Milky Way and mountains

Dark clouds of Milky Way stretching up from lake and black mountain.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Barney Koszalka at String Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, captured this photo of the Milky Way on August 9, 2021. He wrote: “The dark sky in Grand Teton National Park coupled with the iconic range running north-south makes for ideal settings for capturing nightscape and deep space photography. String Lake is a shallow body of water located in the central part of the park resulting in excellent reflections of the stars, Milky Way and mountain range. To maximize the reflections in the water, the tripod was set inches above the water line. This image represents a stack of 173 exposures, 15 seconds each. No tracking was employed, hence, the short exposure time for each image.” Thank you, Barney!

#8 – Venus and Mercury

Mercury-Venus above a suburban skyline.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Helio C. Vital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, caught these planets on May 28, 2021. He wrote: “The image shows Venus and Mercury a few minutes before setting when they were only 0.5 degrees apart and 17 degrees from the sun. Venus was over 200 times brighter than Mercury.” Thank you, Helio!

#7 – A gaggle of geese

Sky filled with whitish geese in flight.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Ragini Chaturvedi in Pennsylvania captured these snow geese in flight on March 14, 2021. She wrote: “Went to Middle Creek area of Pennsylvania to watch the migration of this gaggle of geese … Awestruck with the simple act of their flying as skein.” Thank you, Ragini!

#6 – Hummingbird in flight

Pink-headed hummingbird in flight dipping to one side.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Stephanie Becker in California’s San Francisco Bay Area snapped this photo on May 11. She said: “Hummingbirds can be quite difficult to photograph in flight and I am so happy I was able to capture this image.” Awesome image, Stephanie, thank you!

#5 – Lunar odd-radius halo

A bright light in the center (the moon) with multiple light rings around it against dark sky.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Soumyadeep Mukherjee in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, caught this rare lunar halo – an odd-radius halo – on August 21, 2021. See the multiple rings? Plus the image has something extra. That’s Jupiter to the left, and Saturn to the right, of the moon. Thank you, Soumyadeep!

#4 – Flying Saucer cactus bloom

Close-up of pink and orange bloom.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Leslie Fay in Henderson, Nevada, captured this confirmed photo of a flying saucer – a quirkily named cactus – on May 25, 2021. Leslie wrote: “Flying Saucer cactus bloom in my backyard. They are about 6 inches across.” Thanks for sharing, Leslie!

#3 – Nearly Total Lunar Eclipse

Reddish moon with a white glow on the lower left side.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Robert Hall in South Mississippi took this image of the lunar eclipse on November 19, 2021. He wrote: “The moon turned red once it was 90% eclipsed.” Thank you, Robert!

#2 – Comet Leonard and globular cluster M3

Greenish comet with tail stretching bottom left toward upper right, with cluster of lights at upper right.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Greg Hogan in Kathleen, Georgia, took this image of Comet Leonard and the globular cluster M3 on December 3, 2021. Greg wrote: “This is a single 45-second exposure at ISO 1600.” Thank you, Greg!

#1 – Aurora overhead

Green rays aiming straight down from overhead view.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Markus Varik and his wife are aurora tour guides, operating as Greenlander. He captured this image on the night of November 3, 2021, before midnight, from Tromso, Norway, and wrote: “Even I was impressed. The auroras were strong, one of the best displays in years. I am very tired, but happy.” Thank you so much, Markus! See more from Markus on Facebook and on Instagram.

Bottom line: Enjoy EarthSky’s top photos from 2021. All these photos were taken by members of the EarthSky community from all around the globe.

December 23, 2021

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