The Inverse Awards 2022

The 10 most dazzling space images of 2022

The most jaw-dropping pictures of space this year.

In 2022, we saw some of the most striking photos from deep space alongside brand-new views of our Solar System. Historically important, scientifically informative, or just plain beautiful, the year was full of remarkable space images.

Here are 10 stunning space images that defined 2022...

ASI/NASA/APL

10. Jupiter

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Thomas Thomopoulos © CC BY

Jupiter is seen here from 44,000 miles away — 15 times closer than its moon Ganymede — in this shot captured by NASA’s Juno.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Thomas Thomopoulos © CC BY

9. Zeta Ophiuchi

NASA/CXC/Dublin Inst. Advanced Studies/S. Green et al./JPL/Spitzer

Zeta Ophiuchi was ejected from its home galaxy when its partner star exploded, more than 1 million years before this image was captured.

NASA/CXC/Dublin Inst. Advanced Studies/S. Green et al./JPL/Spitzer

8. Earth from Orion

NASA

Earth shrinks into the distance as Orion heads toward the Moon for its Artemis I lunar flyby.

NASA

7. Sagittarius A*

EHT Collaboration

The first image of the black hole at the Milky Way’s center was made from telescope observations performed around the world.

EHT Collaboration

6. Webb deep field

NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

JWST’s first deep field is the sharpest infrared image of the early universe ever captured, showing galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it was 4.6 billion years ago.

NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

5. Lunar surface

NASA

Orion captured the closest photos of the lunar surface by a human-rated spacecraft since Apollo as it performed a flyby.

NASA

4. The Sun’s corona

ESA

ESA’s Solar Orbiter faced the heat to capture the closest footage ever of the Sun’s corona, taken from 26 million miles away.

ESA

3. Cone Nebula

ESO

ESO’s Very Large Telescope captured the star-forming Cone Nebula in striking detail to commemorate the observatory’s 60th anniversary.

ESO

2. Dart impact

ASI/NASA/APL

Material streams off the Dimorphos asteroid after impact by the Double Asteroid Redirect Test changed its course.

ASI/NASA/APL

1. Pillars of Creation

NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, J. DePasquale (STScI), A. Pagan (STScI), A. M. Koekemoer (STScI); CC BY 4.0

Combined MIRCam/MIRI data from JWST shows the Pillars of Creation made famous by Hubble in a spectacular new light.

INVERSE celebrates the best of the best in entertainment, gaming, science, and technology of 2022. Go to the INVERSE Awards hub.NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, J. DePasquale (STScI), A. Pagan (STScI), A. M. Koekemoer (STScI); CC BY 4.0