The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is held annually and run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, now in its 14th edition.
Ahead of the impending deadline for entries, on 04 March at 12:00 GMT, the competition has revealed the winners of the People Choice Awards, nominated by the photo public.
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In association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine, the competition boasts not only a prestigious award but a top prize of £10,000 (approximately $13,400 / AU$18,500) and place in the exhibition, which will be on display at the National Maritime Museum in London, England on 17 September 2022.
Each photographer entering the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition can submit up to ten images, with participants at all skill levels from beginners to professionals encouraged to showcase their talent and be in with a chance of claiming this year's top prize.
Nine main categories are open for entry, including Aurorae (images of the Northern and Southern Lights), Skyscapes (astronomical subjects like the Milky Way or star scenery), Stars and Nebulae (photographs of deep space objects including star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other phenomena) and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year (for entrants under 16 years old).
Two additional prizes will also be awarded this year for Best Newcomer (The Sir Patrick Moore Prize), eligible for amateur photographers who have only been practicing astrophotography since January 2021, and have not entered the competition before. The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation will be awarded to the best photo processed using pre-existing open source data.
As for the People’s Choice Awards 2021 winners, a mystical shot titled Alien Throne by Marcin Zajac claimed the top spot. The image was captured in one of the most remote areas of the United States, featuring a rock spire known as ‘hoodoo’ that forms part of the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness in New Mexico. Zajac camped under the night sky to capture the glorious Milky Way that arches above the area's terrain.
Second place People's Choice was awarded to Roshaan Nadeem for their image captured using a handheld smartphone titled The Annular Eclipse over Lahore, depicting the different stages of an eclipse over Lahore in Pakistan. In third place was an image titled Retrograde Mars and Uranus by photographer Tunç Tezel, capturing the retrograde motions of Mars and Uranus on 38 different nights.
These images were chosen from a shortlist of 24 images, selected by the Royal Museums Greenwich, comprised from a total of 4,500 submitted images. The overall winner of the 2022 edition of Astronomy Photographer of the Year will claim the top prize, with the additional winners of all other categories to receive £1,500 ($2,010 / AU$2,780).
The Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year in addition to the £1,500 cash price will receive a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ MD, kindly donated by Celestron. Other prizes for runners-up include £500 ($670 / AU$930), and highly commended entries will receive £250 ($335 / AU$460). The Special Prize winners will receive £750 ($1,000 / AU$1,390). All the winning entries will also receive a one-year subscription to BBC Sky at Night Magazine.
Winners of the 2022 Astronomy Photographer of the Year will be announced at an online awards ceremony hosted on 15 September 2022. There's still time to enter now, if you act quickly!