Astronomy Photographer of the Year Competition

Staff Reporter (29 June, 2021)

Photographers have captured sights 554 light years from Earth


Despite all the challenges that last year brought, the Royal Observatory’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year 13 has once again received thousands of astounding images.

The competition, which is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine, is now in its thirteenth year. This year the competition received over 4,500 entries from enthusiastic amateurs and professional photographers, taken from 75 countries across the globe.
Shortlisted images from this year’s entrants include an image taken during lockdown that depicts the Moon’s trajectory over the roofs of Paris, the outstanding sunrise on a heavily polluted morning in one of the most prosperous areas in Shanghai and the Milky Way looming over the astonishing lavender fields in Valensole, France.

Milky Way rising over Durdle Door © Anthony Sullivan

Photographers have also captured sights from across our Solar System, galaxy and the wider Universe: from the Dark Molecular Cloud found in the constellation Corona Australis that lies some 554 light years from Earth with a field of view that spans approximately the size of a full moon; the second largest planet in the Solar System, Saturn, displaying a wealth of details across the globe and its ring system; to the spiral galaxy NGC 3981 that was discovered in 1785 by William Herschel, located approximately 65 million light years away in the constellation Crater.
The competition’s judges include Art Editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine Steve Marsh, renowned comedian and keen amateur astronomer, Jon Culshaw, and a host of experts from the worlds of art and astronomy.
The winners of the competition’s nine categories and two special prizes will be announced on Thursday 16 September at a special online award ceremony.
The winning images will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum from Saturday 18 September, alongside a selection of exceptional shortlisted images.
Winners and shortlisted entries will also be published in the competition’s official book, available in September.
The awards ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube.


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