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Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year is the largest international competition of its kind, annually showcasing phenomenal photographer of the night sky and the universe taken from a global community of talented astrophotographers.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine, has announced the key dates for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition — its annual global search for the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos, whether they are striking pictures of vast galaxies millions of light-years away, or dramatic images of the night sky much closer to home.

ESO supports the 2017 competition by providing a judge from its education and Public Outreach Department (ePOD).

Now in its ninth year, the hugely popular competition will open to entrants on Monday 27 February, giving them the chance of taking home the grand prize of £10 000. Entrants will have until Friday 7 April to enter up to ten images in the various categories of the competition via

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 has nine main categories:

  • Skyscapes: Landscape and cityscape images of twilight and the night sky featuring the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers, comets, conjunctions, constellation rises, halos and noctilucent clouds, alongside elements of earthly scenery.
  • Aurorae: Photographs featuring auroral activity.
  • People and Space: Photographs of the night sky including people or a human interest element.
  • Our Sun: Solar images including solar eclipses and transits.
  • Our Moon: Lunar images including lunar eclipses and occultations of planets.
  • Planets, Comets and Asteroids: Everything else in the Solar System, including planets and their satellites, comets, asteroids and other forms of zodiacal debris.
  • Stars and Nebulae: Deep space objects within the Milky Way Galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other intergalactic phenomena.
  • Galaxies: Deep space objects beyond the Milky Way Galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters, and stellar associations.
  • Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Pictures taken by budding astronomers under 16 years of age.

There are also two special prizes: the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer, awarded to the best photo by an amateur astrophotographer who has taken up the hobby in the last year and who has not entered an image into the competition before; and Robotic Scope, which acknowledges the best photo taken using one of the increasing number of computer-controlled telescopes stationed at prime observing sites around the world and accessed over the internet by members of the public.

Entries to the competition must be submitted by 7 April 2017, and the winners will be announced at an award ceremony at the Royal Observatory on 14 September 2017. The winning photographs will be exhibited at the Astronomy Centre from 16 September 2017. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Photographers can enter online by visiting and each entrant may submit up to ten images to the competition.


The overall winner is chosen from amongst all the Adult competition category winners. This winner receives the prestigious title of Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year.
– Overall winner: £10,000

We have eight categories for you to enter and the judges will select a winner, runner-up and one highly commended entry from each category. These will receive the following prize money:
– Winner: £1500
– Runner-up: £500
– Highly commended: £250

The judges award two Special Prizes, Sir Patrick Moore for Best Newcomer and Robotic Scope. These will receive the following prize money:
– Winner: £750

The judges select a winner, runner-up and three highly commended images for the Young Competition.
– Young Winner: £1500
– Young Runner-up: £500
– Young Highly Commended: £250


Entrants must be over the age of 16 on the Closing Date of the competition. (There is an exception for Robotic Scope Image of the Year. This special prize is open to entrants of all ages.)

Copyrights & Usage Rights:

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is a charitable body dedicated to supporting public understanding and education of science. The images submitted to the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition serve as key resources to promote astronomy photography in practice and in order for us to do this we need to be able to use your image(s) in certain ways.
Entrants will retain copyright and moral rights in their submitted images. In all instances, the copyright holder will be credited, wherever practicable, when the image is used and published by RMG and its sponsors. We will use your first and last name as supplied during the entry process. Although RMG will always supply the correct information to third parties (for example to press / media), it cannot accept responsibility for any credit line errors or omissions by these parties.


Northern Lights and the lighthouse on the coast of Northumberland. (Photo: Owen Humphreys):

Northern Lights and the lighthouse on the coast of Northumberland

3. Star tracks in the Utah desert. (Photo by Marc Toso):

Star tracks in Utah desert

4. The planetary nebula in the constellation of Gemini Medusa. It named after the creatures from Greek mythology – Medusa. The length of the Jellyfish Nebula about four light-years, and its distance from the Sun, about 1,500 light-years. Despite its size, it is very faint and very difficult to monitor. (Photo by Chris Heapy):

Medusa planetary nebula in the constellation of Gemini

5. Milky Way can be seen in all its glory among the night sky of the Mediterranean. (Photo by Gianni Krattli):

The Milky Way can be seen in all its glory among Mediterranean night sky

6. Supermoon over the Acropolis. (Photo by Alexandros Maragos):

Supermoon over the Acropolis

7. Star tracks in Erdos, China. The image was compiled from a series of 168 pictures. (Photo Haitong Yu):

Star tracks in Erdos, China

8. Spiral Galaxy Triangle type Sc Triangle in the constellation. Diameter is 2 times less than the Milky Way and 4 times less Andromeda. Its diameter – about 50 thousand light years corresponds to the average size of typical spiral galaxies. (Photo by Bernard Miller):

Spiral galaxy Sc type Triangle in the constellation Triangulum

9. The same Andromeda. Spiral largest galaxy of the Local Group. Contains about one trillion stars that in 2.5-5 times larger Milky Way. Located in Andromeda and remote from the Earth at a distance of 2.52 million light. years. (Photo Kayron Mercieca):

Andromeda. Spiral largest galaxy of the Local Group

10. Northern Lights in Iceland . (Photo by Joe Burdett):

Northern lights in Iceland

11. Lone Heron and sunset in Denmark. (Photo by Adrien Mauduit):

Lonely heron and sunset in Denmark

12. Milky Way in Harwich, Massachusetts. (Photo by Chris Cook):

Milky Way in Harwich, Massachusetts

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