How to take astronomy photographs

Longing to become an astrophotographer but unsure how it's done and what equipment you need? Already taking pictures of the night sky but looking for some tips and advice?

On these pages you’ll find videos from some of the winners of the competition explaining how they got their shot, as well as step-by-step guides from members of our Astronomy Photographer of the Year Flickr group on how to get great results, from getting the right gear through to processing.

Download the guides as PDFs: aurora | comets | deep space | the Moon | star trails

Download our schools guide to observing and photographing the night sky

The Trifid Nebula
Long-exposure photography is the best way to see and capture colour views of our distant neighbourhood.
Moon mosaic
The Moon is a wonderful object to photograph, with constant changes of view throughout the lunar cycle.
Aurora photography provides a great opportunity to escape to a world with just you, your camera and the Universe.

Alexandra: Solar addiction

We visited Our Solar System winner Alexandra Hart on location to understand the story behind her pictures.

Sharing the magic of the northern sky

We visited Fredrik Broms on location to understand the story behind his Earth and Space image Green Energy.

Ole: the quest for aurorae

Ole C. Salomonsen describes the experience of capturing his Earth and Space image Divine Presence.

Anyone can see the Moon

Stealing a bit of the Universe

Spin Cycle by Steph Hall
The easiest way to capture star trails is to take one long exposure, of at least 30 minutes.
90 mm refractor telescope with astronomical CCD camera
Photographing a comet is a once-in-a-lifetime experience which can be achieved with relatively modest equipment.

Emily: A piece of me

We visited Emily on location to understand the story behind her photograph Moon Behind The Trees.

Shishir and Shashank: being two people

We visited Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year winners Shishir and Shashank on location to understand the story behind their pictures.

Revealing the changing Sun

We visited Alan Friedman on location to understand the story behind his Our Solar System entry Magnetic Maelstrom.

Damian: far from everyday life

Nicole: the blue hour

Nicole Sullivan explains her passion for astrophotography which resulted in her Young category entry Starry Night Sky.

Looking on distant worlds

Capturing the transit of Venus