Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2021: how to enter

All you need to know to enter the 2021 Astronomy Photographer of the Year award: the biggest astrophotography competition in the world.

The top images from the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 competition will be on display at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Credit: National Maritime Museum, London

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year 13 competition will open for entries on 11 January and close on 5 March, the Royal Observatory Greenwich has announced.

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Now entering its 13th year, the biggest astrophotography competition in the world is returning for 2021 with a new panel of judges searching for the most beautiful and innovative images of the cosmos captured by amateurs and professionals around the world.

Entrants have until 5 March 2021 to submit up to 10 images into the different categories in the competition, with a £10,000 prize for the overall winner and £1,500 for those images that top the individual categories.

The winner of the 2021 Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category will also win £1,500, as well as a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ telescope.

There are also prizes of £750 and £250 for each of the runner-up and highly commended images, respectively.

Gallery: Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 winning images

Who is judging the 2021 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition?

This year’s competition welcomes a new panel of judges, including:

  • Sue Prichard, Senior Curator, Arts at the Royal Museums Greenwich
  • Imad Ahmed, Director of New Crescent Society, which co-ordinates lunar observations nationally for the Islamic Calendar
  • Dr Sheila Kanani, an Education, Outreach and Diversity officer for the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Yuri Beletsky of Las Campanas Observatory
  • Melissa Brobby, journalist, science communicator and Social Media Officer for the Institute of Physics.
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).
Andromeda Galaxy at Arm’s Length? by Nicolas Lefaudeux was the winner of the 2020 competition.

How to enter

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition has 9 main categories, and astrophotographers can submit up to 10 images across the categories:

  • Skyscapes
  • Aurorae
  • People and Space
  • Our Sun
  • Our Moon
  • Planets, Comets and Asteroids
  • Stars and Nebulae
  • Galaxies
  • Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year

There are also two special prizes: The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer and the Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation.

The closing date for entries is 5 March 2021 and the winning images will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London on 18 September 2021.

For more information on how to enter, visit the Astronomy Photographer of the Year website.

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You can also keep up to date with the competition by following Royal Museums Greenwich on Twitter and Facebook, and by checking in on the hashtag #AstroPhoto2021