About the categories

Find out about the categories you can enter your photographs in for the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. 

This is the biggest  international competition of its kind showcasing spectacular images shot by astrophotographers worldwide. 



Photographs featuring the northern and southern lights (Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis).


Photographs of landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes in which the night sky or twilight sky is a prominent feature.  Star trails and images of noctilucent and nacreous clouds, halos, meteors and other upper atmospheric phenomena may also be entered into this category.

People and Space

Photographs of the night sky that include people or elements that show the presence or influence of human beings.

Our Sun

Photographs of the Sun, including solar eclipses and transits. Images of the Sun alongside earthly scenery may also be entered into this category, or into Skyscapes.

Our Moon

Photographs of the Moon, including lunar eclipses and the occultation of stars and planets. Images of the Moon alongside earthly scenery may also be entered into this category, or into Skyscapes.

Planets, Comets and Asteroids

Photographs of objects in our solar system, including planets and their satellites, comets, asteroids and other forms of zodiacal debris. Images of the Moon, Sun and Earth should not be entered into this category.

Stars and Nebulae

Photographs of deep-space objects in the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other galactic phenomena.


Photographs of deep-space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters and stellar associations.

Young Competition

Photographs taken by entrants aged 15 years or under. Images can be of any astronomical subject.

Special Prizes

There are two special prizes:

The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer

Photographs of any astronomical subject taken by people who have only been practicing astronomy photography since January 2018 and have not entered the competition before. Images can also be entered into other categories, but this prize recognizes newcomers to astronomy photography.

Robotic Scope

Photographs taken with a remotely operated robotic telescope which is publicly accessible. This special prize will only be awarded for images photographed and processed by the entrant(s). Collaborative groups, including school classes, are eligible to enter. Robotic telescope pictures cannot be entered into any other category or for the Best Newcomer prize.


Where a photograph qualifies for more than one category, it is up to the photographer to decide which category they wish to enter it into.

About our sponsors