Rules

2014 winners announced

Entries to Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 are now closed and the winners have been announced. Entries to Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 will open in the New Year.

Join our Astronomy Photographer of the Year group on Flickr to see all the adult entries to the competition.

Follow the latest news about the Astronomy Photographer of the Year on our Facebook page or Twitter account.

For all entry enquiries, please email astrophotocomp@gmail.com. We aim to reply to enquiries within two working days.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 Competition rules

Rules

Astronomy Photographer of the Year is a competition, so by entering you agree to the following competition rules.

1. Organiser

(1) The Astronomy Photographer of the Year Flickr group, exhibition and competition are organised and owned by the Board of Trustees of the National Maritime Museum, Park Row, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF.  The Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 competition and exhibition are organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

The National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory Greenwich are part of Royal Museums Greenwich (‘RMG’).

(2) The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is open to anyone except those involved in its organisation and employees (and their immediate family) of Royal Museums Greenwich, BBC Worldwide Limited, Immediate Media Company and Yahoo! Employees (or their immediate families) of the official competition sponsors and judges (or their immediate families) of the competition are also restricted from entering the competition. 

2. How to enter

(1) Entries to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 competition open on Thursday 16 January 2014 and must be received by midday (BST) on Thursday 24 April 2014 (the ‘Closing Date’).

(2) For entrants over the age of 16, if you have not done so already, you will need to join the photo-sharing website Flickr, then join the Astronomy Photographer of the Year groupTo enter your images, you first need to add them to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year group on Flickr. Once you have done this, fill in the relevant online application form on the Astronomy Photographer of the Year website here.

(3) There are two entry forms:

  • (i) Adult Entrants use this form if you are over the age of 16 on the Closing Date of the competition.
  • (ii) Young Entrants use this form if you are under the age of 16 years old on the Closing Date of the competition. The consent of a parent or guardian is required for all Young entrants.

(4) The Consent of a parent or guardian is also required for any adult entrant under the age of 18.

3. Submitting images and eligibility

(1) Entrants may submit up to five photos in total to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 competition. 

(2) By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to the competition Rules, and warrants that they have secured the permission of the copyright owner (if not themselves) to enter the image into the competition.

(3) Group entries are permitted. Groups must nominate one person to represent them in communication and submit entries on behalf of the group. Group entrants must indicate they are representing a group in the entry form.

(4) By adding a photo to the group on Flickr or submitting images via this website you confirm to the Royal Observatory Greenwich that it:

  • (i) was taken and processed by you, or by a group of which you are an active participant
  • (ii) is consistent with the Flickr Community Guidelines
  • (iii) is your or your group's original work, or
  • (iv) does not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party (particularly in relation to the use of robotic telescopes)
  • (v) does not contain any obscene or defamatory content or material
  • (vi) was taken within two years immediately prior to the competition closing date.

(5) Unnatural, digitally enhanced, composites are eligible for entry to the competition but the judging panel may ask about your processing method if your photo is shortlisted for a prize.

(6) The following images are not eligible for entry to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition:

  • (i) Photos that have won a significant prize in any other national or international photography competition. If after entering the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition your image wins a prize in another photography competition you must commit to withdraw your entry and your entry will be disqualified.
  • (ii) Photos that have previously been submitted to a news/picture agency for distribution. Photos must not be submitted to a news/picture agency until three months after the opening of the 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition (exhibition opens 18 September 2014).
  • (iii) Photos that use a substantial amount of data from either an image which has won a photography competition prize or which has been submitted to a news/picture agency. 
  • (iv) Photos taken more than two years before the competition closing date (i.e. taken before 24 April 2012).

(7) Using data from before 24 April 2012 is permitted, so long as a substantial portion of the image is created using data captured within the dates of the competition. If data used in an image was captured outside the competition dates, please state roughly what percentage of the total data it constitutes.

(8) The use of professional telescope data (such as Hubble Legacy Archive data) is permitted. Entrants must state if this is the case in their photograph description and state the professional telescope data being used.

4. Main categories

(1) There are four categories in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Each of these categories will have one overall winner, a runner-up and three highly commended awards:

  • (i) Earth and Space: Photos that include landscape, people and other 'Earthly' things. Your picture should also include an astronomical subject, e.g. stars, the Moon, or near-Earth phenomena such as aurora.
  • (ii) Our Solar System: Photos of our Sun and its family of planets, moons, asteroids and comets.
  • (iii) Deep Space: Photos of anything beyond our Solar System, including stars, nebulae and galaxies.
  • (iv) Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Applicable for entrants under the age of 16 years old only. See below for full details of this category.

If you are an Adult entering via Flickr, please tag your entries with the appropriate category tag – earthandspace, oursolarsystem, deepspace. Read these FAQs for more information about tagging on Flickr. 

5. Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category

(1) This category is for those under the age of 16 years old at the competition closing date with a date of birth no later than 25 April 1998.

(2) Entrants must have permission of their parent or guardian.

(3) Entries to the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category can be though the online application form here. Once you submit your images you will receive an email confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation email, you must assume that your entries have not been received by the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

(4) Group entries are permitted in the Young category and must nominate one person to represent them in communication and submit entries on behalf of the group. In cases where a school group is being represented, one student should do the submission on behalf of the group. Group entrants must indicate they are representing a group in the entry form.

6. Special prizes

(1) There are three additional special prizes in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. To submit your photo for consideration for a special prize, please indicate as appropriate on the entry form. The prizes are:

  • (i) People and Space: Astronomy photos that include people in a creative and original way. NB we will also award a runner-up for this category.
  • (ii) The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer: For photographers who have taken up the hobby within the last year and have not entered the competition before. The judges will give special consideration to those using simple and inexpensive start-out kit, so please state this in your photo description. This will help them to better assess the overall standard of your imaging.
  • (iii) Robotic Scope Image of the Year: For images taken using remote or robotic telescopes. See below for further details.

7. Robotic Scope special prize

(1) This special prize is open to everyone, both Young and Adult entrants. Please indicate whether your entry is for the Robotic Scope prize by ticking the relevant box on the entry form.

(2) Images must be captured by a robotic telescope and processed by the entrant.

(3) A robotic telescope is considered to be one that is operated via the internet and may be publically available to all, such as Faulkes, Slooh, NSO, Global Remote Telescope Network (GRAS), LightBuckets etc. Images taken by privately owned robotic telescopes may also be used. Please clearly specify the type and location (whether remote or not) of the robotic telescope that you are using.

(4) No images taken by robotic/remote telescopes will be allowed into any of the main judging categories: Deep Space, Earth & Space, Our Solar System and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year.

(5) If you use a robotic telescope, you must ensure that you are the owner of the photographs or have the permission of the telescope owner to enter the photographs into the competition. Terms and conditions vary between robotic telescope facilities and it is your responsibility to ensure that these entitle you to enter your images into the competition.

8. Shortlisted entries

(1) To make sure that your photos are eligible for the competition shortlist, please ensure:

  • (i) you have completed the relevant online application form
  • (ii) you have a high-resolution version of your photo available that can, as closely as possible, be reproduced at 300dpi and a minimum 15cms width. This is to ensure that your image can be reproduced in the exhibition and for promotional purposes, should it be awarded a prize.

(2) If your photo is shortlisted, we will contact you via the email address you provided on the online entry form and ask you to:

  • (i) supply a high resolution version of your photo. This must be exactly the same image as the one originally entered, albeit a larger version. No retouching or altering of the image is permitted after the image has been shortlisted.
  • (ii) supply any missing information about your image, if needed
  • (iii) declare if your photo has been digitally manipulated and, if so, supply details of the processing method. Digitally manipulated photos are eligible but the judging panel will want to take your process into consideration when choosing winning photos.    
  • (iv) reconfirm that you have the permission of your parent or guardian to enter the competition, if you are under the age of 18 years old.

(3) We will contact you in the week of 19 May 2014. If you do not reply to this email within 10 working days, your photo/s will not be selected as a winner, runner-up or highly-commended entry.

9. Copyright and use of images

(1) The Royal Observatory Greenwich is a charitable body dedicated to supporting public understanding and education of science. The images submitted to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and Flickr group serve as key resources to promote astronomy photography in practice and in order for us to do this we need to be able to use your image(s) in certain ways.

(2) Entrants will retain copyright and moral rights in their submitted images.  In all instances, the copyright holder will be credited, wherever practicable, when the image is used and published by RMG. We will use your first and last name as supplied during the entry process. Although RMG will always supply the correct information to third parties (for example to press / media), it cannot accept responsibility for any credit line errors or omissions by these parties.

(3) By entering, all entrants grant RMG a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, and publish in perpetuity, each image entered into the competition:

  • (i) in exhibition displays, in relation to both the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 competition and exhibition and related future exhibitions and displays (including as part of touring displays).
  • (ii) in promotional, press and marketing materials to promote and publicize the 2014 competition and exhibition, as well as future related exhibitions. This may include publication in Sky at Night Magazine or its calendar, in international and national media publications and online. Your contact details may be shared with the Museum Press Office, should additional information be required.
  • (iii) as part of RMG educational programmes or digital media, in order to introduce and promote the understanding of astronomy to a wider audience.  
  • (iv) in RMG publications about the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 competition and exhibition and future related exhibitions.
  • (v) for use in planetarium shows developed and distributed by RMG. 
  • (vi) for any other marketing, promotional or press purposes at the sole discretion of RMG, in relation to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and exhibition and more generally to promote the understanding of astronomy in general terms as RMG sees fit.

(4) For each photograph that you add to the group on Flickr you also grant to RMG a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free licence to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display by means of the Flickr API (“Application Programming Interface”) your photo solely in connection with the group, competition and exhibition, without any further notice or remuneration to you. This applies to all images in the group including those not entered in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 competition.  This license shall apply for the period during which the photo is posted in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Flickr group. If you remove your photo from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year group, this license will automatically terminate.

(5) RMG reserves the right to enter into an agreement with a third party publisher, in order to publish an associated book about Astronomy Photographer of the Year. This agreement may also include:

  • (i) the rights for the publisher to sub-license the content for publication in other languages
  • (ii) the rights to reproduce the content as an app or e-book
  • (iii) the rights to re-use the image in future updated editions associated with the competition / exhibition.

(6) Should your image(s) feature in any such book or app, in accordance with the rights you have granted to RMG under these competition rules, you permit such third party publisher the rights set out above, for which you will receive a one-off payment of £50 per image and one free copy of the first edition of the book (limited to one copy per entrant regardless of the number of images). 

(7) RMG reserves the right to use images entered into the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 competition in merchandising, for a period of ten years. Should your images(s) feature in any such merchandising, in accordance with the rights you have granted to RMG under these competition rules, you permit such rights, for which you will receive a one-off payment of £50 per image.

(8) RMG reserves the right to use images entered into the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 competition in brand-licenses products, for a period of ten years. 

(9) Please do not submit your contribution to the competition if you do not wish to grant these rights to RMG.

10. Winning images

(1) Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the launch night of the exhibition and will be notified by email no later than 19 September 2014.

(2) If your image is selected as one of the winning images, you may be entitled to receive a prize.  Details of all prizes are outlined herePrizes will be payable in Pounds Sterling. All prize-winners will also receive a one year subscription to Sky at Night Magazine. No alternative prizes are available in whole or in part. The names and counties of the winners, and their nationality, will be published on the competition website no later than 19 September 2014 for a period of at least 3 months.

11. Governing law

(1) Valid wherever legal only, the rules of this competition are subject to the legal and regulatory restrictions imposed under English law and the parties to any dispute or action shall submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

12. Judging

(1) The Royal Observatory Greenwich will appoint a panel of judges to select the winning photos. The panel will include at least one independent judge. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

(2) Should the quality of entries fall below the standard required, the Judges reserve the right not to award prizes.

(3) The judges come from a range of disciplines; they will be considering images according to criteria comprising technical skills, artistic merit and originality.

13. Invalid entries

(1) All entries to the competition must be submitted via the competition website. The Royal Observatory Greenwich will not accept images submitted by any other means.

(2) No responsibility can be accepted for entries which are lost, delayed, corrupted, damaged, misdirected or incomplete or which cannot be delivered for any technical, delivery or other reason. Proof of sending will not be accepted as proof of receipt. RMG cannot guarantee continuous, uninterrupted or secure access to the website or to Flickr.

(3) By submitting your photo for entry into the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 competition and for publishing on the website, you confirm that the content of the photo is and will not be taken to be obscene, racist, pornographic, indecent, harassing, threatening or offensive.

(4) RMG reserves the right to pre-vet and/or moderate photos submitted and reserves the right to not display uploaded content to the website or remove, suspend or disable access to photos, at any time, at its sole discretion, without liability or prior notice.

14. Liability

(1) The Royal Observatory Greenwich shall not be obliged to display photos and shall not be liable for any entrant’s loss of publicity or enhancement of reputation.

(2) The Royal Observatory Greenwich reserves the right to cancel the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Flickr group, competition and/or exhibition at any time owing to circumstances outside its reasonable control and where circumstances make this unavoidable, but will always use all reasonable endeavours to minimise the effect on participants to avoid undue disappointment.

15. Personal information and Freedom of Information Act

(1) Any personal information of entrants will only be used and, where necessary, disclosed to third parties, for the purposes of running the competition and otherwise in accordance with the Royal Observatory Greenwich privacy policy.

(2) Please note that the Royal Observatory Greenwich is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

16. Accepting the rules

(1) By entering your photo to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 competition you are deemed to have accepted the above rules and to have granted the rights to RMG set out above. Please do not submit a photo to the competition unless you are prepared to agree to these terms.

(2) If you are under the age of 16 years old, and entering the Young competition, by entering the competition your parents or guardians are deemed to have accepted the above rules.

(3) If you are under 18 years old, and entering the Adult competition, by entering the competition your parent or guardian is deemed to have accepted the above rules and granted RMG the above rights in relation to the use of your image(s).