Astronomy Photographer of the Year

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A collection of prize-winning images from 2009–14 published in book form

Astronomy Photographer of the Year is an annual astronomy photography competition that is organised by the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (part of Royal Museums Greenwich). The title sponsor Insight Investment, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon, has sponsored the competition since 2015 as Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year. Since 2018 the competition has been known as Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year. The competition's media partner is the BBC Sky at Night magazine.[1]

The competition was launched in 2009 during the International Year of Astronomy.[2] It has expanded significantly since this time and since 2016 the overall winner receives a prize of £10,000.[3]

In 2018 the exhibition moved to the Photography Gallery at the National Maritime Museum. The first exhibition is a 10 year retrospective of the 2018 competition's 31 winning images alongside 69 of the best winning images from the past nine years. In future years the 31 winning images will be exhibited alongside 69 images from the c.140 shortlist.

Categories[edit]

Entrants can submit up to 10 images in the competition, which normally runs January–March.[4]

2009-14 categories:

  • Earth and Space - Photographs featuring the night sky or twilight sky.
  • Our Solar System - Photographs of our Moon, the Sun, and objects in our solar system.
  • Deep Space - Photographs of deep-space objects inside the Milky Way galaxy and beyond.
  • People and Space Special Prize - Photographs of the night sky that include people or elements that show the presence or influence of human beings.
  • Young Competition - Photographs taken by entrants aged 15 or under of any astronomical subject.

Since 2015 the categories have been:

  • Aurorae - Photographs featuring the northern and southern lights (Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis).
  • Galaxies - Photographs of deep-space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters and stellar associations.
  • Our Moon - Photographs of the Moon, including lunar eclipses and the occultation of stars and planets, and the Moon alongside earthly scenery.
  • Our Sun - Photographs of the Sun, including solar eclipses and transits, and the Sun alongside earthly scenery.
  • People and Space - Photographs of the night sky that include people or elements that show the presence or influence of human beings.
  • Planets, Comets and Asteroids - Photographs of objects in our solar system, including planets and their satellites, comets, asteroids and other forms of zodiacal debris.
  • Skyscapes - Photographs of landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes in which the night sky or twilight sky is a prominent feature.
  • Stars and Nebulae - Photographs of deep-space objects in the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other galactic phenomena.
  • The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer Special Prize - Photographs of any astronomical subject taken by people who have only been practicing astronomy photography for one year and have not entered the competition before.
  • The Robotic Scope Special Prize - Photographs taken with a remotely operated robotic telescope which is publicly accessible.
  • The Young Competition - Photographs taken by entrants aged 15 or under of any astronomical subject.[5]

Judging[edit]

Entries are judged anonymously by a panel of judges. Up to 140 images are shortlisted and are included in the annual publication. In the adult competition, the judges select a winner, runner-up and highly commended image in each category and one winner for each of the special prizes. In the young competition, a winner, runner-up and three highly commended images are chosen. The overall winner, the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year, is chosen from the category winners in the adult competition.

Current judges:[6]

Past judges:

Overall winners[edit]

  • 2009 - 'Horsehead Nebula' by Martin Pugh [7]
  • 2010 - 'Blazing Bristlecone' by Thomas Lowe [8]
  • 2011 - 'Jupiter with lo and Ganymede - September 2010' by Damian Peach [9]
  • 2012 - 'M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy' by Martin Pugh [10]
  • 2013 - 'Guiding Light to the Stars' by Mark Gee [11]
  • 2014 - 'Aurora over a Glacier Lagoon' by James Woodend [12]
  • 2015 – Eclipse Totality over Sassendalen – a skyscape by Luc Jamet showing the solar eclipse of March 20, 2015[13]
  • 2016 - 'Baily's Beads' by Yun Jun [14]
  • 2017 - 'The Rho Ophiuchi Clouds' by Artem Mironov [15]
  • 2018 - 'Transport the Soul' by Brad Goldpaint [16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2018 Adult Competition Rules, Royal Museums Greenwich, 2018
  2. ^ Nancy Atkinson (19 January 2012), Who will be the next astronomy photographer of the year?, Universe Today
  3. ^ https://www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory/insight-astronomy-photographer-year/competition/prizes
  4. ^ http://www.rmg.co.uk/astrophoto
  5. ^ https://www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory/insight-astronomy-photographer-year/competition/categories
  6. ^ http://www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory/insight-astronomy-photographer-year/competition/judges
  7. ^ https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/astronomy-photographer-gallery/apy-2009-deep-space-winner
  8. ^ https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/astronomy-photographer-gallery/apy-2010-earth-and-space-winner,
  9. ^ https://www.rmg.co.uk/astronomy-photographer-year-competition/2011-winners
  10. ^ https://www.rmg.co.uk/astronomy-photographer-year-competition/2012-winners
  11. ^ https://www.rmg.co.uk/astronomy-photographer-year-competition/2013-winners
  12. ^ https://www.rmg.co.uk/astronomy-photographer-year-competition/2014-winners
  13. ^ Paul Kerley (18 September 2015), Beauty beyond - winning astronomy photography, BBC
  14. ^ https://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-37337537
  15. ^ http://www.iflscience.com/space/heres-the-winner-of-the-insight-astronomy-photographer-of-2017/
  16. ^ https://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/astronomy-photographer-year/galleries/2018/overall-winners