16th Astronomy Photographer of the Year Award is now open for entries

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023
Young Moon at Nightfall (Image credit: Haohan Sun)

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition in association with the Royal Observatory Greenwich and supported by Liberty Specialty Markets has officially opened its doors for the sixteenth consecutive year. In collaboration with BBC Sky at Night Magazine, the annual competition seeks to uncover the most captivating images of our cosmos, welcoming participants of all ages and skill levels from around the world.

Astronomy enthusiasts and photographers alike can submit their celestial masterpieces to the competition up until midday on March 5.  Entrants can showcase their talents in up to ten images across various categories including skyscapes, aurorae, people and space, our sun, our moon, planets, comets and asteroids, stars and nebulae and galaxies. 

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Andromeda Unxpected - overall winner in 2023 (Image credit: Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner, and Yann Sainty)

Two special prizes, The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer which celebrates amateur photographers who have recently embraced astrophotographer and The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation which recognizes the best photo processed with pre-existing open-source data combines the realms of art and astronomy making the event even more exciting.

Each year, the breathtaking results captured on some of the best cameras for astrophotography continue to astound us with their intricacy and beauty. The results of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 16 competition, including the winners, runners-up, and highly commended entries, will be on display in a compelling exhibition at the National Maritime Museum from September 2024. 

The top prize from the 15 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition was awarded to a trio made up of Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Stottner and Yann Sainty for their image, Andromeda Unexpected. It shows a gigantic plasma arc adjacent to the Andromeda Galaxy which is our recent spiral neighbor making it a frequent subject for astrophotographers. They described winning as "an enormous honor for our team to receive this important award, and we are grateful for all the support, friendship, and encouragement we have received along our journey."

The Running Chicken Nebula - winner of the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category 2023 (Image credit: Runwei Xu and Binyu Wang)

To view last year's winning images, and find out more information on how to enter or to submit your images, head to the APOTY website and be in with a chance to have your out-of-this-world image grace the walls of the National Maritime Museum in London. 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.