The winners of the 2021 Milky Way Photographer of the Year have been announced, and they’re providing some of the best views of our galaxy that we’ve ever seen.
Identifying individual stars in the night sky is pretty cool, but nothing compares to the view of the Milky Way as it stretches overhead. Stars are stark and lonely, but the Milky Way actually makes us feel like we’re part of something, even if that something is a spiral galaxy that measures more than 100,000 light years across.
Each year, Capture the Atlas, a travel photo blog, honors the best photos of our home galaxy. This year’s crop includes 25 images by 25 different photographers hailing from 14 different countries. Dan Zafra, editor of Capture the Atlas, selected the winners, choosing from a mix of professional and amateur photographers. Here are 15 winning photos from the 2021 Milky Way Photographer of the Year.