Astronomy Photographer of the Year 14 Shortlist Images Announced

WINNERS ANNOUNCED – 15 September 2022
EXHIBITION OPENS – 17 September 2022

Awe-inspiring scenes of the Milky Way rising, galaxies colliding, stellar nurseries, the luminous Aurora Borealis dancing across the night’s sky and Saturn balanced by its moons all feature in the shortlist for this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year. The competition is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, supported by Liberty Specialty Markets and in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine. In 2022, the competition received over three thousand entries from passionate amateur and dedicated professional photographers, submitted from sixty seven countries across the globe.

Shortlisted images from this year’s competition include the Harvest Moon rising behind Glastonbury Tor in the United Kingdom, the lights of the Milky Way mirrored by the highest national highway in the world in Tibet, one of the most detailed amateur-produced maps of the lunar south pole, created in the United States, a partial solar eclipse over Italy, and the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy captured in Australia exactly 270 years after its discovery.

One of the astronomical highlights of 2021 was the discovery of Comet Leonard, a long period comet identified by G.J. Leonard on 3 January 2021. It made its closest pass by Earth on 12 December 2021 and was the brightest comet of the year. Almost a quarter of submissions to the Planets, Comets and Asteroids category focused on this single comet, including a spectacular image captured in Namibia by Lionel Majzik. Majzik said, ‘photography was hampered by overcast weather conditions, but I was delighted to capture the incredibly spectacular Comet Leonard with its tail’.

One of the themes captured by some of the entrants this year was the impact of pollution and light pollution on astrophotography. Sean Goebel was only able to capture his harmonious image of the moon aligning with the iconic Los Angeles skyline thanks to a winter storm dispersing the haze of pollution and allowing a clear view. Similarly, one of the shortlisted entrants for Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year, Zezhen Zhou, had to overcome the light pollution in Shaoxing, China, to capture the image of Pickering’s Triangle, part of the Veil Nebula in the Cygnus constellation. Zhou said, ‘if you are in a city, it doesn't mean that the stars are leaving you. I think that this image not only shows the beauty of the night sky but also tells us we shouldn’t lose our love of astronomy because of the bad environment.’

Now in its fourteenth year, Astronomy Photographer of the Year has an expert panel of judges from the worlds of art and astronomy. The winners of the competition’s nine categories, two special prizes and the overall winner will be announced at a special online award ceremony on Thursday 15 September. The winning images will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum from Saturday 17 September, alongside a selection of exceptional shortlisted images. The competition’s official book, publishing on 29 September, will also showcase the winning and shortlisted entries.

Exhibition information for visitors:

Venue:                                     National Maritime Museum, London
Dates:                                     Opening 17 September 2022
Visitor Enquiries:                    020 8858 4422 |
Twitter:                                   @RMGreenwich @ROGAstronomers #APY14
Instagram:                              @royalmuseumsgreenwich #APY14

Facebook                                /royalmuseumsgreenwich #APY14
Astrophotography Group:


Notes to editors

1. Competition Categories:

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 14 – Overall winner
Skyscapes: Landscape and cityscape images of twilight and the night sky featuring the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers, comets, conjunctions, constellation rises, halos and noctilucent clouds alongside elements of earthly scenery.
Aurorae: Photographs featuring auroral activity.
People and Space: Photographs of the night sky including people or a human-interest element.   
Our Sun: Solar images including transits and solar eclipses.
Our Moon: Lunar images including occultation of planets and lunar eclipses.
Planets, Comets and Asteroids: Everything else in our solar system, including planets and their satellites, comets, asteroids and other forms of zodiacal debris.
Stars and Nebulae: Deep space objects within the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other intergalactic phenomena.
Galaxies: Deep space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters, and stellar associations.
Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Pictures taken by budding astronomers under the age of 16 years old.

The judges will also award two special prizes:

The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer: Photos taken by people who have taken up the hobby in the last year and have not entered an image into the competition before. The judges will give special consideration to those using simple and inexpensive start-out kits.

The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation: For images processed by the entrants using pre-existing open-source data.

2. The winners of Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year 14 will be announced at an online award ceremony on 15 September 2022. The winning photographs will be exhibited in the National Maritime Museum, alongside a selection of shortlisted images. General admission will be £10.

The overall winner will receive £10,000. Winners of all other categories and the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year will receive £1,500. There are also prizes for runners-up (£500) and highly commended (£250) entries. The Special Prize winners will receive £750. All the winning entrants will receive a one-year subscription to BBC Sky at Night Magazine

3. Royal Observatory Greenwich is home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian and is one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world. Since its founding in 1675, Greenwich has been at the centre of the measurement of time and space, and visitors today can still stand on the historic Prime Meridian line. The Observatory galleries and Peter Harrison Planetarium help unravel the extraordinary phenomena of time, space and astronomy. In 2018 the Royal Observatory Greenwich acquired the Annie Maunder Astrographic Telescope (AMAT), the first new telescope to be installed in Greenwich in over 60 years, marking a new era for the world-famous site and restoring its status as a working observatory.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is part of Royal Museums Greenwich which also incorporates the National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House and Cutty Sark. This unique collection of museums and heritage buildings, which form a key part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also a major centre of education and research. The mission of Royal Museums Greenwich is to enrich people’s understanding of the sea, the exploration of space, and Britain's role in world history. For more information visit

4. Liberty Specialty Markets offers specialty and commercial insurance and reinsurance products across key UK, European, Middle East, US, Bermuda, Asia Pacific & Latin America markets. We provide brokers and insureds with a broad product range through both the Company and Lloyd’s markets and have over 2,300 employees in approximately 60 offices.

At Liberty Mutual, we believe progress happens when people feel secure. By providing protection for the unexpected and delivering it with care, we help people embrace today and confidently pursue tomorrow.

In business since 1912, and headquartered in Boston, today we are the sixth largest global property and casualty insurer based on 2021 gross written premium. We also rank 78th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2021 revenue. As of December 31, 2021, we had $48.2 billion in annual consolidated revenue.

We employ over 47,000 people in 29 countries and economies around the world. We offer a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, specialty lines, reinsurance, commercial multiple-peril, workers compensation, commercial automobile, general liability, surety, and commercial property.

5. About BBC Sky at Night Magazine

BBC Sky at Night Magazine is Britain's best-selling astronomy magazine, with a combined print and digital circulation of 23,082 copies a month. has 680,000 visits a month and reaches 75,000 social media followers through Facebook and Twitter. The magazine is available on Apple Newsstand, Google Play and Zinio as well as in print, and is media partner of the annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. With writing from the world’s leading astronomers and science communicators, BBC Sky at Night Magazine complements one of the world's longest running TV programmes, BBC Four’s The Sky at Night, and is published by Immediate Media Co under licence from BBC Worldwide.

6.The Royal Observatory Greenwich, in partnership with Collins, will be publishing Astronomy Photographer of the Year, Collection 11 on 29 September 2022 It is the official publication for the Astronomy Photography of the Year competition and will showcase breath taking images of space and the night sky from the 2022 competition shortlist. Photographs will be accompanied by full details including each photographer’s information, location where photographs were taken and technical specifications.

Last year’s prize winning images are still available to buy: Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Collection 10 / RRP £25.00 / Hardback / Published September 2021 / Royal Museums Greenwich online shop.

For further information or to request review copies please contact:

Marta Juncosa / / DL: 020 8307 4176


Media interviews:

The Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Modern Astronomy team is dedicated to the public understanding of science and its experts are available to give radio and TV interviews on astronomy - at the historic Observatory site or in the studio.

The Observatory offers a short notice service to media stations looking for comment or interviews on any aspect of modern astronomy - discussing new discoveries and space missions, telling people what to look for in this month's night sky, or talking about old favourites like black holes, is there life beyond Earth and the origins of the universe.

For further information or to request press images, please contact:

Victoria Mottram
Press & PR Manager, Science & Cultural | 020 8312 6789


Header image credit: The Starry Sky Over the World’s Highest National Highway © Yang Sutie