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. 

'Enjoying Venus corona above the Giant's Causeway' by Miguel Claro

 

People and Space We introduced People and Space to the competition a few years ago, to recognise images that featured people as part of an Earth and space photograph. Originally a special prize with just one winner, we decided that People and Space needed to be given more attention in the competition, so we promoted it to a category in 2015. This year we will celebrate three amazing People and Space images: one winner, a runner-up and a highly commended image. Entrants were encouraged to submit photographs to this category that depict astronomical subjects along with a human-interest element in a creative way. We received 234 entries, portraying people in the context of a wide range of astronomical backdrops. Some entrants submitted images conveying their own fascination with astronomy through self-portraits, whilst others captured fellow astronomers observing the night sky. All the images in this category have something in common; they capture the relationship between humans and the cosmos around us. Of all the images entered in to the competition, those in the People and Space category perhaps best communicate our place within the Universe, encouraging us to ponder its vast scale when juxtaposed with people here on Earth. “Although some people may feel small and insignificant when they realise how large and wondrous the cosmos is, it’s amazing to think that we are the only creatures in the Universe that we know of, who can appreciate it and ask questions to try and understand it all.” Affelia Wibisono, Astronomy Programmes Assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. See a selection of shortlisted images here. You can also follow the winner’s announcement live via our twitter channel on 17 September.