Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2012
Now in its fourth year, Astronomy Photographer Of The Year – organised by the Royal Observatory, Greenwich in association with Sky at Night Magazine – is the world’s top-flight competition for astro imagers.
Entries now open
This year, entries will be accepted from 19 January to 29 June, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 20 September.
Once registered you’ll then be invited to upload your images to the competition’s Flickr page, where they’ll be available for the world to see as well as being judged by a panel consisting of Royal Observatory staff, astro imaging experts and, of course, members of the Sky at Night Magazine team.
Entries are invited in the same categories as last year. The winners of the four main categories will win £500 each and the winners of the special prizes will receive £350, with an additional £1,500 prize for the overall winner.
Earth And Space
This is the place for images that capture Earth views with a cosmic background – Tom Lowe's bristlecone pine trees with the Milky Way behind won in 2010, while last year’s prize went to Tunç Tezel for his serene photo of the night sky over the palm trees of the Cook Islands.
Our Solar System
If you’ve captured a close-up image of the Moon, a passing comet or a distant Solar System planet, then this is the category for you. Damian Peach won this category last year, with an image of Jupiter with its moons Io and Ganymede. The same image went on to win the overall Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011 contest.
This is the category for pictures of nebulae, galaxies, star clusters and everything else in ‘deep’ space. Last year the Vela Supernova Remnant, by Marco Lorenzi, was the subject of the winning image.
Young Astronomy Photographer Of The Year
A special category for those who are under 16 on the competition closing date. Last year’s winner was Jathin Premjith of India, with his image of a lunar eclipse.
SPECIAL PRIZE: People And Space
This special prize is for the best astro image with humans somewhere in the frame. Last year, the USA’s Jeffrey Sullivan won this category with a self-portrait that co-starred the Milky Way.
SPECIAL PRIZE: Best Newcomer
If you’re new to astrophotography, this is the category for you! Harley Grady from the US was last year’s winner, with a great shot showing zodiacal light over a farm, taken with just an ordinary DSLR camera.
SPECIAL PRIZE: Robotic Scope Image Of The Year
If you take images with remotely operated telesecopes such as the Faulkes Telescope Project and Global Rent-A-Scope you're wecome to join in the APOTY fun, with this dedicated section for robotic scope images. Last year, Marco Lorenzi of Italy won with his striking shot of the Shell Galaxies, NGC 474 and NGC 467.
If you are planning to enter this year's competition then best of luck – hopefully your shot will feature in the exhibition of winning entries at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, which opens on 21 September.