Last year's winning image was Transport the Soul by Brad Goldpaint, captured in Moab, Utah, US, 20 May 2017 with a Nikon D810 DLSR camera and 14mm f/4.0 lens. Image Credit: Brad Goldpaint


The dates for the 2019 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year (IIAPY) competition have been announced by the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

IIAPY is an annual astrophotography competition that invites photographers and astronomers across the globe to submit their images of the cosmos, from closeup shots of the Sun and Moon to nightscapes and aurorae, galaxies, nebulae and the planets.

Last year saw IIAPY celebrate its 10th anniversary, and the astrophotography competition is returning this year to kick off its second decade.

This year will see four new judges joining the panel: BBC Sky at Night Magazine's art editor Steve Marsh, Chairman of UK Picture Editors Guild Alan Sparrow, Astronomy Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society Dr Mandy Bailey, and Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer Tom Kerss.

Entrants will be able to submit their astro images from Monday 14 January 2019, and will have until Friday 8 March 2019 to do so.

This year’s overall winner will take home a grand prize of £10,000, but there are further prizes for the winner of each category.

Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019 has nine main categories:


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 the Northern and Southern Lights.

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.

There are two further prizes: the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer for those who have taken up astrophotography in the past year and who have not entered the competition before; and Robotic Scope for images taken using computer-controlled telescopes accessed by members of the public via the internet.

The winners of this year’s competition will be announced in autumn 2019 at the opening of the annual exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in London.

For more information and competition rules, visit the Royal Observatory’s dedicated website.


You can also follow this year’s competition on social media via the Royal Museums Greenwich Facebook page, Twitter account, or using the hashtag #astrophoto2019


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.