IAPY 2017: open for entries

Astrophotographers at the ready! The Royal Observatory Greenwich has announced entries are now being accepted for this year’s Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

Yu Jun won the overall competition and the category Our Sun in 2016 with this fantastic image of Baily's Beads. If you fancy your chances in this year's competition, find out how to enter here.
Credit: Yu Jun

Every year, IAPY celebrates the art of astro imaging, as photographers from around the world capture galaxies, nebulae, aurorae, planets and nightscapes in the hope of being crowned the IAPY overall winner and taking home a grand prize of £10,000.

From today, entrants will have until Friday 7 April 2017 to enter up to ten images into the various categories of the competition, with £1,500 available to the winner of each category, plus £500 for each runner up and £250 for highly commended entries.

  • View last year's winning photographs here
  • View last year's shortlisted images here


From Maurolycus to Moretus by Spanish astrophotographer Jordi Delpeix Borrell won the category Our Moon in 2016. Jordi used a ZWO ASI120MM monochrome CMOS camera on a Celestron 14-inch telescope.
Credit: Jordi Delpeix Borrell 


This year’s judges include Royal Observatory Greenwich public astronomer Dr Marek Kukula, The Sky at Night’s Pete Lawrence and Chris Lintott, Dr Melanie Vandenbrouck, Curator of Art (post-1800) at Royal Museums Greenwich, BBC Sky at Night Magazine editor Chris Bramley and comedian Jon Culshaw. And joining the panel for the first time in 2017 is photographer and image coordinator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre Rebecca Roth.

“At NASA Goddard, we build spacecraft and instruments, and invent new technology to study Earth, the Sun, our Solar System, and the Universe – a favourite part of my job is sharing images of these spacecraft and the images they produce with the public,” says Roth. “This will be an exciting and unique opportunity to see the spectacular images of space captured by the public themselves and discovering their photographic interpretations of the night sky and beyond.”

This amazing image taken from Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, won Wing Ka Ho the People & Space category in last year's competition. Wing used a Canon EOS 6D DSLR camera with 24mm lens.
Credit: Wing Ka Ho


If you fancy taking part in this year’s competition, there are nine main categories in which you can submit your astrophotos:

- 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 occultation of planets

- Planets, Comets and Asteroids: Everything else in our 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, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other intergalactic phenomena

- Galaxies: Deep space objects beyond the Milky Way, including galaxies, galaxy clusters, and stellar associations.

- Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Pictures taken by budding astronomers under the age of 16 years old. 

There are also two special prizes: The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer for the top photo by an amateur astrophotographer who has taken up the hobby in the last year and has not entered an image into the competition before, and Robotic Scope, awarded to the best photo taken using a computer-controlled telescope at one of the many observing sites around the world that can be accessed over the internet by members of the public.

The Large Magellanic Cloud has rarely looked so beautiful. Believe it or not, this image was captured by a newcomer to astrophotography: Brazilian Carlos Fairbairn. It was enough to earn him the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer in 2016. Carlos used a Canon EOS 5D Mk III DSLR camera with Canon 200mm lens on a Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer mount.
Credit: Carlos Fairbairn


Entries to the 2017 competition must be submitted by 7 April 2017, and the winning images will be showcased in the annual free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich from 14 September 2017. 

For more info, or to enter online, visit www.rmg.co.uk/astrophoto. Each entrant can submit up to ten images in total. Good luck to all those entering this year's competition!


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