The highly commended images for the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011 competition.

This is the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition category for under-16s.

The Moon is a wonderful object to photograph if you’re just starting out in astrophotography, with constant changes of view throughout the lunar cycle. Find out more about How to photograph the Moon

The easiest way to capture star trails, another popular category with our young astrophotographers, is to take one long exposure, of at least 30 minutes. Find out more about How to photograph star trails

Highly commended: Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011

There were three highly commended Young Astronomy Photographer images:

‘Winter's Moon’ by 15-year-old Jessica Caterson (UK) shows a nearly full Moon, called a waxing gibbous Moon, rising in the east in a wintery afternoon sky. While the Moon is most evident in the night sky, it is visible during the daytime for much of its monthly orbit around the Earth.

‘Lonely Moon’ by 15-year-old Peter Pihlmann Pedersen (UK) shows a crescent moon that displays a sliver of the Moon’s sunny side. Like the Earth, one half of the Moon is always lit by the Sun. It is the relative positions of the Earth, Moon and Sun that determine how much of this illuminated side we see from the Earth.

In the photograph ‘First-Quarter Moon’ by Tom Chitson (UK), also aged 15, the craters and rugged mountain ranges stand out in sharp relief close to the terminator. The smooth, dark areas are lunar maria or ‘seas’, filled with dark lava which solidified billions of years ago.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is an annual global search for the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos by amateur and professional astrophotographers. The winning images are showcased in a stunning exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. 

Visit the IAPY 2015 exhibition