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. 

Solar Prominence by Gray Palmer Solar Prominence by Gary Palmer

Our Sun

The Our Sun category offers astrophotographers the chance to show us their technical skill and a keen aesthetic eye in capturing our nearest star. We invited entrants to submit solar images in to this category of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition with marvellous results.

The 182 images entered in this category covered a range of compositions including sunrises, sunsets, sunspots, transits, solar prominences and flares. We also saw many photographers making the most of the solar eclipse on 20th March 2015, submitting images of this natural phenomenon.

We can feel privileged to be living in an era of our planet’s existence where the Moon can perfectly match the Sun’s size from our perspective – billions of years in the past the Moon orbited much closer and in the distant future it will lie further from us.”  Brendan Owens, Astronomy Programmes Officer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

Capturing this sun can be achieved in a number of ways, whether by using specialised filters and telescopes or a camera by itself. For the first time since the launch of the competition our shortlist includes a solargraph captured over 6 months using a pinhole camera. The variety of equipment used by entrants in this category signifies quite how diverse the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition can be.

See a selection of shortlisted images here.