Astronomy Photographer of the Year showcases the world's best space photography, from spectacular skyscapes to mind-blowing images of distant planets and galaxies.

Every year, photographers from across the globe compete to be part of the final exhibition and take home the prestigious title.

Entry to the 2024 competition is now open. The entry window closes at 12pm GMT on 5 March. Find out more about the competition, rules and prizes below, and submit your entries here.

How to enter

The 2024 competition

Competition opening date: 4 January 2024

Competition closing date: 12pm GMT (midday) 5 March 2024

Photographers of all skill levels are invited to submit up to 10 images to the competition.

There are separate photography prizes open to adults, young photographers and astrophotography newcomers. A full list of competition categories is below.

All entrants have a chance of winning cash prizes, seeing their image displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, a year’s subscription to BBC Sky at Night magazine, and a copy of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year publication. 

Explore spectacular winning images from previous competitions and our latest exhibition at the National Maritime Museum to see examples of award-winning astrophotography images. 

Submitting images

All images can be submitted online via our dedicated competition website.

The Adult competition is open to anyone aged 16 and over, and the Young competition is open to anyone aged 15 and under.

You may submit a total of 10 images to be considered.

There will be a £10 fee per entrant for the Adult Competition. Entry to the Young Competition and special prizes is free.

The overall winner's prize across all Adult categories is £10,000. Open the Prizes dropdown for full details about the prizes on offer.

Enter now

Rules and categories

The full competition rules are available here. If you have any questions, please email astrophotocomp@rmg.co.uk.

Adult competition categories

  • Aurorae: Photographs featuring the northern and southern lights (Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis)
  • Galaxies: Photographs of deep-space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters and stellar associations
  • 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
  • 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
  • People and Space: Photographs of the night sky that include people or elements that show the presence or influence of human beings
  • 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
  • Skyscapes: 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.
  • Stars and Nebulae: Photographs of deep-space objects in the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other galactic phenomena.

Young competition

There are no separate categories in the Young competition. The Young competition will have one winner, one runner-up and three highly commended awards.

Special prizes

The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer: For newcomers who have only been practising astronomy photography since January 2023, are aged 16 or over, and have not entered the competition before.

The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation: For images processed using pre-existing open source data not captured by the entrant. Find out more about this category here.

Prizes

Overall winner

The overall winner is chosen from amongst all the Adult competition category winners. This winner receives £10,000 and the title of Astronomy Photographer of the Year.

Adult competition

There are eight different categories for adult photographers to enter. The judges will select a winner, runner-up and one highly commended entry from each category. These will receive the following prize money:

  • Winner: £1,500
  • Runner-up: £500
  • Highly commended: £250

Young competition

The judges will select a winner, runner-up and three highly commended images in the Young Competition.

  • Young Winner: £1,500
  • Young Runner-up: £500
  • Young Highly Commended: £250

Special Prizes

The judges will also award two Special Prizes: the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer and the Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation. Both winners will receive £750.

Additional information

All winners will also receive:

  • Their winning image displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum 
  • One year’s subscription to BBC Sky at Night magazine
  • A copy of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year publication.
Keep in touch

Sign up to our space newsletter to receive updates about the competition as well as news from the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

For questions about the rules or entering the competition, email astrophotocomp@rmg.co.uk. Winners and shortlisted entrants will also be contacted via this address.

Be inspired

Hear from past entrants about what it takes to win Astronomy Photographer of the Year, and find out more about how they capture their remarkable shots. Tap the arrows to watch all the interviews.

An image for 'Be inspired'

Marcel Drechsler, Xavier Strottner and Yann Sainty

How three amateur astronomers and astrophotographers made a remarkable find in one of the most photographed areas of the night sky.

Monika Deviat

Dancer, educator, heavy metal fan and astrophotographer: go behind the lens with Monika Deviat, winner of the Aurorae category in Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023. 

John White

How do you picture something that is invisible and inaudible to humans? Artist and photographer John White has the answer.

Andrea Vanoni

Pauline Woolley

Saahil Sinha

Deepal Ratnayaka

Dario Giannobile

Terry Hancock

Julie F Hill

Daniel Koszela

Nicolas Lefaudeax

Image showing mountain and rocks in foreground, with rippling emerald aurora in the sky behind the mountain, which is reflected in a pool of water

Visit the exhibition

See the spectacular winning images from Astronomy Photographer of the Year at the National Maritime Museum

Sponsors and partners

Main image: The Enigma of The North © Josh Dury, Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2023