Astrophotographer Nicolas Lefaudeux has been crowned the winner of the 2020 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year awards, after his image of the Andromeda Galaxy was announced the top astrophoto in the annual competition.


The winners of this year's IIAPY awards were announced on 10 September during a live online ceremony hosted by the Royal Museums Greenwich.

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Andromeda Galaxy at Arm's Length? Nicolas Lefaudeux (France). Winner, Galaxies (and overall winner). Equipment: Sky-Watcher Black Diamond 100mm refractor, iOptron iEQ30 mount, Sony ILCE-7S camera (modified).
Nicolas Lefaudeux's winning image Andromeda Galaxy at Arm's Length?

Lefaudeux scooped the top prize of £10,000, and his image will feature amongst the other category winners, runners-up and highly commended entries in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, due to open to the public on 23 October 2020.

Competition judge Ed Robinson says: "To most of us, our closest neighbouring galaxy Andromeda can also feel so distanced and out of reach, yet to create a photograph that gives us the impression that it is just within our physical reach is truly magical, and somewhat appropriate as we adjust after such socially distanced times".

The Four Planets and the Moon Alice Fock Hang (Reunion), aged 11. Winner, Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year. Equipment: Nikon D610 camera, 35mm lens.
The Four Planets and the Moon by Alice Fock Hang won the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category.

This year's winner of the Young Astronomy Photographer category was announced as 10-year-old Alice Fock Hang for her image The Four Planets and the Moon, showing the Moon, inferior planets Venus and Mercury, the star Antares, and Jupiter and Saturn over the Indian Ocean.

See all of this year's winning images in our gallery below.

The Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition runs every year and welcomes images of the night sky from astrophotographers around the world.

It's hosted by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, and in 2020 the competition welcomed over 5,000 entries by astrophotographers across 6 continents, including in new category the Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation, for entries produced using raw data from space missions and telescopes.

Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder, Astronomer at Royal Museums Greenwich and judge for the competition, says: "The global situation made judging and shortlisting extremely challenging this year, particularly with judges spread across different countries.

"However, the photographs have exceeded our expectations and the innovation demonstrated by the entrants has been phenomenal."

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's art editor and competition judge Steve Marsh says: "Another year of incredible variety, ingenuity and show stopping talent has given us a real feast for the eyes in the 2020 competition.

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"From vast aurora to fiery nebulae to an intimate look at our closest galactic neighbour, there really is something for everyone and the worldwide astrophotography community continues to impress and amaze us at every step."

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 categories:

  • Skyscapes
  • Aurorae
  • People and Space
  • Our Sun
  • Our Moon
  • Planets, Comets and Asteroids
  • Stars and Nebulae
  • Galaxies
  • Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year
  • The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer
  • The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation

For more information on the exhibition and how to enter next year’s competition, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.


Iain Todd BBC Sky at Night Magazine
Iain ToddScience journalist

Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Content Editor. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.