Nebulae, star clusters and lunar occultations are just some of the celestial wonders captured by the winning and shortlisted entrants of our Young competition.

This competition is open to budding astrophotographers aged 16 and under. Their images showcase their boundless imagination and range of creative techniques.

Discover the winning and shortlisted images taken by these new stars of astrophotography.

Visit Astronomy Photographer of the Year


The winning image

The Running Chicken Nebula by Binyu Wang and Runwei Xu

Taken in El Sauce Observatory, Río Hurtado, Chile, 19 December 2022 

"The Running Chicken Nebula (IC2944), located in the constellation of Centaurus, is 6,000 light years away from us," they say.

"This colourful image, shown in scientifically assigned colours, was captured in a 6-hour exposure. We successfully photographed many details of the nebula, highlighting its rich colours."

Equipment used: ASA N20 f/3.8 Newtonian telescope, ASA DDM85 mount, FLI Proline 16803 camera, 1900 mm f/3.8, 5.5-hour total exposure

This is a strikingly beautiful picture of the Running Chicken Nebula (IC2944). The photographer has managed to capture the vibrant colours of the nebula as well as the embedded star cluster. 

Yuri Beletsky, competition judge


Blue Spirit Drifting in the Clouds by Haocheng Li and Runwei Xu 

Taken in Shangri-la City, Yunnan, China, 18 and 21 January 2023  

"Here the seven sisters of the Pleiades Cluster are enveloped in the rich cloud of the nebula, the bright open cluster in the sky, M45," they say.

"The light from the bright star illuminates the surrounding nebula, giving it an attractive blue hue."

Equipment used: Sky Rover 102APO telescope, Optolong LRGB filter, NEQ6 mount, ZWO-ASI294MM camera, 714 mm f/7, ISO 100, single exposure 300-second, 9-hour total exposure  


Highly commended

Moon at Nightfall by Haohan Sun

Taken in Dalian, Liaoning, China, 11 August 2022 

Equipment used: Moon: Canon 24-105mm camera, 5 x ISO 1600, 6 x SO3200, 2 x 1/100-second exposure, 3 x 1/50-second exposure, 6 x 1/30-second exposure; Foreground: Canon EOS 6D Mark Ⅱcamera, 150 mm f/4, ISO 1600, 40 x 1/125-second exposure 


Highly commended

Roses Blooming in the Dark: NGC2337 by Yanhao Mo

Taken in Xinbei District, Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, 21 December 2021, 18 and 27 January 2023 

Equipment used: Sky-Watcher 150/750 telescope, Meyon MPCC + Optolong LRGB & SII, H-alpha and OII filter, Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro mount, QHY-268M camera, 750 mm f/5, Gain 26, 600-seconds per 8 x 7 hour exposure


Highly commended

Lunar Occultation of Mars by Joshua Harwood-White

Taken in Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, UK, 8 December 2022 

Equipment used: Celestron Astromaster 102AZ Refractor telescope, 102 mm Achromatic lens, Manual Alt Azimuth mount, Apple iPhone SE 2nd Generation, 12 mp wide camera, 660 mm f/1.8, ISO 80, 1/15-second exposure 

Never miss a shooting star

Sign up to our space newsletter for exclusive astronomy news, guides and events.

See the full shortlist

Explore all the photographs in the Young competition.


An Elephant You'll Never Forget! by Harry Johnson

Polesworth, Tamworth, Staffordshire, UK, 9 July 2022, 5 and 17 October 2022 

Equipment used: William Optics Redcat51 telescope, Optolong L-eXtreme lens, Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer GTi mount, ZWO ASI183MC Pro camera, 250 mm f/4.9, Gain 111, 55 x 300-second exposures, 4-hours and 35-minutes total exposure 


Poison Rain by Feargus Casbolt 

Nellim, Lapland, Finland, 15 February 2023 

Equipment used: Canon EOS 20D camera, 18 mm f/4, ISO 1600, 1 x 10-second exposure


The Blue Gems in the Universe by Runwei Xu and Haocheng Li

Shangri-la City, Yunnan, China, 24, 25 and 28 November 2022, 6 and 24 December 2022 

Equipment used: Sky Rover 102APO telescope, IR-CUT lens, NEQ6 mount, ZWO-ASI533MC camera, 714 mm f/7, ISO 100, 5-hour exposure 


A Flame of Oxygen Between the Stars by Elliot Molina

Générac, Occitanie, France, 17 February 2023 

Equipment used: Sky-Watcher Newton 250/1200 telescope, Optolong L-extreme2" GPU coma corrector 4 elements lens, Sky-Watcher EQ6 Pro mount, Canon, EOS 6D camera, 1200 mm f/5, ISO 1000, 75 x 5-minute exposures 


Awesome Moon by Benjamin Lawler 

Tutbury, Staffordshire, UK, 23 February 2022 

Equipment used: Celestron StarSense explorer LT 70AZ telescope, Sky-Watcher AZ GTI mount, ASI294MC camera, 900 mm, 70 mm, ISO 700, 100-millisecond total exposure 


The Milky Way by Kush Chandaria

Okavango Delta, Botswana, 16 July 2022 

Equipment used: Sigma Art 40 mm telescope, Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro mount, CanonEOS Ra camera, 40 mm f/1.4, ISO 1600, 10 x 10-second exposures

Our partners