Shortlist in £10k Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023 award announced

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023
(Image credit: Jeff Graphy )

Magical Milky Way and star-studded skies have made it to the shortlist of this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year Shortlist. Organized by the Royal Observatory Greenwich with support from Liberty Special Markets and the BBC Sky at Night Magazine, the night photography competition gained more than 4,000 entries from 64 countries around the world. 

Open to both amateur and professional photographers, The Astronomy Photographer of the Year award seeks out passionate, patient photographers who take awe-inspiring photos of the sky at night. Now in its 15th year, it continues to grow in popularity. It has nine categories: Skyscapes, aurorae, people and space, our sun, our moon, planets, comets and asteroids, stars and nebulae, and galaxies. There is also an award for the young astronomy photographer of the year.

The judging panel will select a further two winners for the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer, which recognizes someone who is new to the genre, and the Annie Maunder Prize for image innovation, which will be awarded to a photographer who processed an image with pre-existing open-source data. 

• Check out the best cameras for astrophotography so you can start photographing the night sky too!

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023

Crescent Moon in a Magical Sunset, Taken with a Canon EOS 90D camera, 600 mm f/6.3, ISO 800, three exposures between 1/400 and 1/100-seconds (Image credit: Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau)

An overall winner will also be selected from the shortlist to receive a £10,000 (around $12,800 or AU$19,000) cash prize, and the young photographer of the year will take home £1,500 ($1,895 or $AU2,860) in cash, plus a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ MD telescope donated by Celestron. Runners-up from each category will receive £500, the highly commended photographer will receive £250 while the special category winners will each be awarded £750.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023

Colourful Saturn, Taken with a Celestron C14 EdgeHD telescope, Losmandy G11 mount, Player One Saturn-M SQR camera, 8,000 mm f/22, 50,000 single frames combined through RGB filters x 0.02-second exposure (Image credit: Damian Peach)

The shortlisted images are truly out of this world, featuring a vibrant red and blue colored the tarantula nebulae by Steeve Body, a glowing emerald sky in Iceland from the aurora borealis by Lorenzo Ranieri Tenti, and a long exposure shot of majestic star trails capturing the movement of the earth. Perhaps one of the most impressive shots of them all comes from the Letian Wang who pieced together nine high-res video frames to create an image that shows the transit of the China Space Station across the sun. 

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on September 14 2023 and all winning photos, plus a selection of shortlisted images, will be exhibited at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London for an admission fee of £10. 

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023

Emerald Roots, Taken with a Sony ILCE-7S camera, 14 mm f/2.8, ISO 6400, 25-second exposure; Foreground: 23 seconds, Aurora: 8 seconds (Image credit: Lorenzo Ranieri Tenti)

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023

China Space Station Transits Active Sun, Taken with a Lunt 152T telescope, Rainbow RST-135 mount, TeleVue 2X Barlow lens, ZWO ASI432MM camera, 900 mm f/6, 0.8-millisecond and 1.3-millisecond exposures (Image credit: Letian Wang)

Why not also check out the best telescopes for astrophotography and capture distant plants and nebulae?

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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.