As we inch closer to the end of yet another year, we innately have the urge to reflect on the past 12 months, dissecting everything we’ve accomplished, endured, and overcome. One of the best ways to take a trip down memory lane is through pictures. Whether it be to take a look back at a shared experience or to evoke an individual feeling, images have a way of retracing our steps and reminding us of our humanity, ephemerality, and perseverance.
The year 2022 has been filled with a range of events, emotions, and everyday moments that have united people from all across the world. Whether it be a candid shot of two foxes sharing a tender moment or an unnoticed gasoline puddle that seems to hold the entire universe in its reflective surface, there is beauty to be found in all corners of the world. To balance these sweet, serene, and surreal moments, there are also reminders of the struggles, strife, and sadness that have been experienced this year. Namely, the war in Ukraine, the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the U.S., and the protests in Iran have drawn the attention of nations across the globe. Within the U.S., gun control also took center stage yet again as the country grappled with the aftermath of the heartbreaking Uvalde school shooting.
Despite all the social and political unrest, it’s important to remember the bright spots of the year and the scientific community has had many. For starters, the James Webb Space Telescope successfully reached its destination this year and has exceeded expectations ever since. Thanks to this amazing successor to the Hubble Telescope, we’ve been able to capture sights never before seen with such clarity, including images of the Pillars of Creation, Jupiter’s auroras, and Neptune. And right at the tail end of this year, NASA’s Artemis I launched into outer space, paving the way for more missions to the Moon and Mars. We also got an incredible image of the Sun’s chromosphere. It's been an amazing—dare we say, stellar—year for astronomy and astrophotographers alike.
Join us as we take a visual trip back to some of the most breathtaking, eye-opening, invigorating, and heartwarming photos of 2022.