Field of Dreams © Chris Cook (Harwich, United States). Chris says: “My 8 year old son gazes up at the starry summer Milky Way filled sky from his little league baseball field. Maybe he was dreaming of being a pro baseball player or maybe an astronaut? One of the most important responsibilities in being a parent is to help keep your child’s dreams alive – this is his ‘Field of Dreams’.
Astrophotographers have until 12:00 UTC on 7 April to submit their entries to this year’s Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
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.
£1,500 is available to the winner of each category, plus £500 for each runner up and £250 for highly commended entries.
Below is a selection of some of the images submitted to competition so far; a taster of what to expect this year.
Ancient Stardust © Gianni Krattli (Lozari, France)
Aurora Australis © Russell Wiltshire (Apollo Bay, Australia)
M31 Andromeda Galaxy, M32 and M110 Galaxies in L(R+HA)GB © Kayron Mercieca (Entre Encinas y Estrellas, Spain)
M33 – The Triangulum Galaxy © Bernard Miller (Animas, NM, United States)
Sh2-249 Jellyfish Nebula © Chris Heapy (Macclesfield, United Kingdom)
Shard of Night Sky © Haitong Yu (Erdos, China)
The Comet’s Eye © Marc Toso (Richmond, Utah, United States)
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.
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.
For more information, visit the Royal Observatory Greenwich website. You can also view last year’s top entries in a free exhibition at the observatory until 25 June 2017.