Astronomers from around the world earned honors in the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (NRAO) image contest held as part of celebrating the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA). The winning entries, along with those earning honorable mentions, illustrate celestial objects from our own Solar System, our Milky Way Galaxy, distant galaxies, and clusters of galaxies.
Entries, which included videos, animations, and images, were required to include observational radio data obtained with the VLA. A panel of judges from within and outside of NRAO evaluated the entries for high visual impact that would make them compelling for public audiences. Entries were judged on their aesthetics and originality, artistic merit, scientific accuracy, and scientific significance.
Judges awarded first, second, and third-place winners and four honorable mentions. The First Prize winner will receive $1,000, Second Prize $500, and Third Prize $250. Honorable mentions will receive $100 each.
The winners are:
First Prize — Giannandrea Ichingolo of the University of Bologna, Italy, for a video combining VLA radio observations and computer simulations of the collisions of clusters of galaxies.
Second Prize — Jayanne English of the University of Manitoba, for a composite VLA and Hubble Space Telescope image revealing the extended magnetic field of the galaxy NGC 5775.
Third Prize — Marie-lou Gendron Marsolais, an ESO/ALMA Fellow in Santiago, Chile, for a composite VLA and Sloan Digital Sky Survey image showing radio jets emerging from the galaxy NGC 1275 in the Perseus Cluster of galaxies.
Honorable Mentions went to:
Yelena Stein, of the Astronomical Observatory of Strasbourg, in France, for an image combining data from the VLA, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Cerro Tololo International Observatory, revealing the magnetic field of the starburst galaxy NGC 4666.
Chris Moeckel, of the University of California, Berkeley, for a set of animated gifs of the rotating Jupiter as seen with the VLA, Hubble Space Telescope, and ALMA, revealing features at different depths inside the planet’s atmosphere.
Kamlesh Rajpurohit, of the University of Bologna, Italy, for a detailed VLA image of the “Toothbrush” radio relic in the galaxy cluster 1RXS J0603.3+4214.
Melina Thevenot, for an image combining data from the VLA and the WISE orbiting infrared telescope, showing a variety of phenomena in a section of the Milky Way Galaxy.
The VLA’s 40th anniversary is October 10, and NRAO is hosting a day-long virtual celebration then, which will include a presentation on the image contest. The celebration also includes two virtual tours of the VLA and presentations on the history, operation, science, and future of the VLA.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.
Dave Finley, Public Information Officer
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