This year’s Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is bigger then ever before with a host of new prizes. We’ll spend the next few weeks introducing you to each category before the winners are announced on 17 September. 

Andromeda Galaxy (M31) 8 Panel Mosaic by Martin Pugh Andromeda Galaxy (M31) 8 Panel Mosaic by Martin Pugh

Galaxies

Providing endless awe and wonder about our Universe, the images entered in to the Galaxies category of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition were truly spectacular. We asked astrophotographers to submit photographs of deep space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxy clusters and stellar associations.

With 109 images entered, the Galaxies category may only represent 4% of the 2700 images entered in to the 2015 competition, but this category initiated the longest debate on the judging day. The judges were blown away by the quality of the images and selecting the winners proved to be very difficult. All the images shortlisted in this category are highly deserving of the accolade.

There is truly an abundance of objects against which the photographer can test their mettle. And tested they will be; the light of a hundred billion stars may seem very faint after travelling through millions of light year of space ... Even if they were to be considered on a purely technical basis, I believe these images are amongst the most impressive of the whole competition.” Edward Bloomer, Planetarium Astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.