Royal Observatory Greenwich, supported by Liberty Specialty Markets and in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine, announces the dates for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 16 competition – the annual search for the most inspiring images of our cosmos.

The internationally acclaimed competition is now in its sixteenth year and is open to all ages and abilities across the globe. Entrants have from Thursday 4 January 2024 until midday on Tuesday 5 March 2024 to submit their work. Up to ten images can be entered into various categories via (entry fees apply, for more information check the competition rules).

100 breathtaking images, including all the winners, runners-up and highly commended entries, from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 16 competition will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum from September 2024. Astronomy Photographer of the Year has eight main categories:

  • 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 the Northern and Southern Lights
  • People and Space: Photographs of the night sky including people or a human interest element
  • Our Sun: Solar images including solar eclipses and transits
  • Our Moon: Lunar images including lunar eclipses and occultation of planets
  • 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

As well as the main categories, Astronomy Photographer of the Year includes the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year prize, which is open to budding astronomers under the age of 16, and two special prizes, The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer and The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation.

The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer is open to amateur photographers who have taken up astrophotography in the past year and have not entered an image in the competition previously. The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation recognises the best photo processed using pre-existing open-source data, bringing together the worlds of the arts, astronomy and astrophotography. Visit to learn more about The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation and see step-by-step guides for finding images and image processing. Last year’s winner, Black Echo by John White, pushed the boundaries of creativity by using audio source material from NASA’s Chandra Sonification Project, to visually capture the sound of the black hole at the centre of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster.

Entries to the competition must be submitted by 5 March 2024, and the winning images will be showcased in the annual exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, opening in September 2024.

Photographers can enter online by visiting Each entrant may submit up to ten images to the competition.

Notes to editors

1. The winners of Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year 16 will be announced at an award ceremony in September 2024. The winning photographs will be exhibited at the National Maritime Museum alongside a selection of shortlisted images. 

2. The overall winner will receive £10,000. Winners of all other categories and the photographer named winner in the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category 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 the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian and one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world. Since its founding in 1675, the Royal Observatory in 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 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 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, welcomes over two and a half million British and international visitors a year and 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, part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, offers specialty and commercial insurance and reinsurance products across key UK, European, Middle East, US, Bermuda, Asia Pacific and Latin America markets. We provide brokers and insurers with a broad product range through both the Company and Lloyd’s markets and have over 2,000 employees in approximately 50 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 fifth largest global property and casualty insurer based on 2022 gross written premium. We also rank 86 on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the US based on 2022 revenue. As of 31 December 2022, we had $50 billion in annual consolidated revenue. We employ over 50,000 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. BBC Sky at Night Magazine is Britain’s best-selling astronomy magazine, with a combined print and digital monthly circulation of 21,760. has 700,000 visits a month and reaches 100,000 organic social media followers through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The magazine is available monthly through its app (available on Apple App Store and Google Play), on Apple News, on Zinio and in print, and is media partner of the annual Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition run by 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 Our Media under licence from BBC Worldwide.

7. Royal Observatory Greenwich, in partnership with Collins, will be publishing Astronomy Photographer of the Year, Collection 13 in September 2024, RRP £30.00. It is the official publication of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and will showcase breathtaking images of space and the night sky from the 2024 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 publication is still available to buy: Astronomy Photographer of the Year, Collection 12 / RRP £30.00 / Hardback / Published September 2023. For further information or to request review copies please contact: Marta Juncosa / / 020 8307 4176.



Media interviews:

The Modern Astronomy team at Royal Observatory Greenwich 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, whether there is life beyond Earth and the origins of the Universe.


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