The Moon has existed for over four billion years, yet it still holds an air of mystery and intrigue.

Over the centuries, there have been several milestones in the history of lunar exploration. In July 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. This landmark event saw the first ever human steps on the surface of a planetary body other than Earth.

Within the next few years, we hope to see our next moon landing with NASA’s Artemis missions, which will propagate a new era of exploration, experiment and even art and photography on the surface of the Moon. 

Until then, we can still admire the Moon from afar. The winning and shortlisted images in the Our Moon category offer fresh perspectives on our very familiar neighbour.

Visit Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Mars hides behind a section of a full Moom

The winning image

Mars-Set by Ethan Chappel

Taken in Cibolo, Texas, USA, 8 December 2022

"On 8 December 2022, two events coincided to bring a rare and spectacular sight to the night sky. Mars was at opposition, when it was directly opposite the Sun, and was nearly at its biggest and brightest. At the same time, our moon had reached Full Moon and was also directly opposite the Sun in the sky," Ethan says.

"This coincidence meant astronomers across North America and Europe saw Mars hide behind the Moon, an event known as a lunar occultation. I was fortunate to be near the southern edge of the path where Mars skimmed the Moon’s southern highlands before disappearing for a few minutes."

Equipment used: Celestron EdgeHD 14 telescope, iOptron CEM70 mount, Astro-Physics BARADV lens, ZWO ASI462MC camera, 7,120 mm f/20, multiple 15-millisecond exposures 

The occultation of Mars by the Moon was one of the last and greatest celestial events of 2022. It was also one of the most challenging to image. To capture the level of detail on Mars that you see here takes a huge amount of skill and practice. Combined with a crisp, clear, perfectly processed lunar limb, the result is like taking a gigantic telephoto lens into lunar orbit itself!

Steve Marsh, competition judge
High-contrast view of the Moon’s Plato Crater and the surrounding terrain during a local lunar sunset


Sundown on the Terminator by Tom Williams

Taken in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, UK, 20 August 2022

"This is a high-contrast view of the Moon’s Plato Crater and the surrounding terrain during a local lunar sunset," Tom explains.

"The third-quarter phase allowed for a striking view of the region, where some of the shadows measure more than 70 kilometres in length. The final two-panel mosaic shown here is one of my best lunar captures of recent times." 

Equipment used: Sky-Watcher 400P (16") GoTo Dobsonian Reflector telescope, Player One Uranus-C (IMX585) camera, 8,750 mm f/21.5, 1,250 x 12-millisecond exposures x 2 panels, 30-second total exposure time 

White full Moon surrounded by a ring of blue and orange hazy clouds

Highly commended

Last Full Moon of the Year Featuring a Colourful Corona During a Close Encounter With Mars by Miguel Claro

Taken in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, 8 December 2022

"This image shows the last Full Moon of the year captured in a double exposure and immersed in a layer of clouds," says Miguel.

"The colourful hue that surrounds the Moon is a lunar corona formed while bright moonlight is diffracted by water droplets in thin clouds, drifting in front of the lunar disc. Mars is also visible as a little yellow-orange dot that lies in the blue boundary of the orange ring from the corona’s circular shape."

Equipment used: Nikon D810A camera, 195 mm f/2.8, ISO 1600, 1/100-second exposure 

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See the full shortlist

Explore all the photographs in the Our Moon category.

Image of craters on the Moon

Aristarchus and the Schröter-Valley by Ralf Burkart

Kempen, Viersen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, 21 August 2022

Dark photograph of a crescent Moon

Crescent by András Papp

Veszprémvarsány, Győr-Moson-Sopron County, Hungary, 23 September 2022  

Sequence of orange Full Moon rising over the silhouette of a hill topped with a tower

Sequence of Full Moon Over Rivington Pike by Lee Mansfield

Chorley, Lancashire, UK, 17 January 2022

Full Moon rising over the sea and Church Rock in Broadhaven, Pembrokeshire

A Rocky Rise by Carl Evans

Broadhaven, Pembrokeshire, UK, 16 April 2022

Shot of craters and a lunar sea on the surface of the Moon

Mare Crisium: From Light to Dark by Andrea Vanoni

Porto Mantovano, Mantua, Lombardy, Italy, 14 August, 12 and 20 October 2022

Full Moon rising over silhouette of mountains

Moonrise, Laruns by Jamie Clarkson

Laruns, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France, 12 June and 12 July 2022

Large orange full moon in an indigo sky stretches over a black and white striped lighthouse

Hook Head Moonrise by Tom O'Hanlon

Hook Head, County Wexford, Ireland, 14 July 2022

Crescent Moon in a red and cream cloudy sky

Crescent Moon in a Magical Sunset by Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau

Rafaela, Santa Fe, Argentina, 1 August 2022

International Space Station passes in front of the crescent moon

ISS Lunar Transit by Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau

Santurce, Santa Fe, Argentina, 29 September 2022

Photograph of the Full Moon

Ball of Rock by Rich Addis

Wallasey, Wirral, Merseyside, UK, 11 May 2022

Full Moon rising over an ancient pagoda

Moon With Ancient Pagoda by Liang Chen

Jinyun Mountain, Beibei district, Chongqing, China, 11 August 2022 

Series of images showing the development of a lunar eclipse

The Shadow of the Earth by György Soponyai

Budapest, Mogyoród, Hungary and Tokyo, Japan, 16 July 2019, 10 January 2020 and 11 August 2022  

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