The shortlisted images from 2021's Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition have been revealed.

The largest astrophotography competition in the world, Astronomy Photographer of the Year showcases the very best space photography from a global community of photographers.

Now in its 13th year, the competition received a staggering 4,500-plus entries, submitted from 75 countries worldwide. 

Check out an incredible selection of the shortlisted images below.

Follow the competition: #APY13

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 13: winners announcement

Join us on 16 September for a digital awards ceremony to find out the winners. Sign up to our space newsletter for updates.

A selection of the winning and shortlisted images will be displayed in our Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition at the National Maritime Museum (opens 18 September). 

Green Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Iceland Vortex by Larryn Rae

A 250º panorama of the Aurora Borealis in Iceland taken on a freezing winter night. 

Larryn says: "This is one of the most amazing aurora images I have ever captured as it is totally unique. For me personally, it sums up my whole trip in Iceland in winter - just awe inspiring and feeling like a tiny part of the planet's existence in the face of a very powerful natural environment. I was stoked to have had this moment all to myself."

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A bright full moon shines over fir trees in the snow

Lunar Halo by Göran Strand

Panoramic image taken in Östersund, Sweden.

Göran says: "This is a bright 22° lunar halo. When I took this photo it was -16°C and the air was filled with small ice crystals that made this halo possible. This regular 22° halo is more common to seen around the Sun. For a lunar halo to be visible the moonlight needs to be quite strong to make the halo visible, so it's more common around the days of a full moon."

Milky Way stretching over lavender fields in France

Harmony by Stefan Liebermann

Panorama of the Milky Way over the lavender fields in Valensole, France.

Stefan says: "The colour tones and the lines are really amazing. Unfortunately the light pollution is clearly visible over the whole area. I captured the foreground in the blue hour with a high ISO value because the lavender never stands still."

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Orange full moon rising in Seattle, USA

Buck Moon and the Needle by Mara Leite

A full moon rising in Seattle in Washington, United States of America.

Mara says: "The photo was taken with a 600mm lens Saturday, July 4th, in Seattle at 9:30 pm (PDT). Due to COVID-19, there was no 4th of July fireworks display in Seattle, but the full moon put on a beautiful show."

Milky Way rising over Durdle Door

Milky Way rising over Durdle Door by Anthony Sullivan

Image taken in Durdle Door, Dorset in England. The area is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Anthony says: "Durdle Door is a perfect spot for astrophotography. The landscape is so interesting and luckily aligns with the Milky Way core during a few months of the year."

Rainbow image of the California Nebulae

California Dreamin' NGC 1499 by Terry Hancock

Terry says: "The California Nebula, otherwise known as NGC 1499. Captured using Broadband and Narrowband Filters with a QHY600 60 Megapixel Full Frame Monochrome CMOS camera mounted on a Takahashi 130 FSQ APO Refractor telescope."

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Pink sun against a light blue sky

The Magnetic Field of our Active Sun by Andrew McCarthy

Andrew says: "This image shows how the magnetic field pulls up portions of the chromosphere following a large solar flare, with the magnetic field lines on crystal clear display along the limb in Hydrogen-Alpha light."

Pillar of rock in New Mexico with Milky Way in background

Alien Throne by Marcin Zajac

Image taken in New Mexico, United States of America.

Marcin says: "An otherworldly rock spire (also known as a hoodoo) rises out of the badlands forming a perfect foreground to the Milky Way galaxy above. This is part of the Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness in the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico. It is one of most remote areas of the United States I've had a chance to visit." 

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Man wrapped up in a sleeping bag in an igloo with shoes outside and the Milk Way in the sky

Break of a New Day by Nicholas Roemmelt

Image taken in Telfs, Austria.

Nicholas says: "The beginning of the astronomical dawn usually marks the end of the shooting for the astro landscape photographer as the Milky Way and its wonderful colours are quickly fading. But this short period in between the night and the very beginning of the new day has always been a very special moment for me. It is probably the most calm time of the day and somehow 'soothes my soul.'" 

See more shortlisted photos

Follow the conversation online at #APY13

Banner image: California Dreamin' NGC 1499 © Terry Hancock