Serene Saturn Winner Planets, Comets & Asteroids 2016 © Damian Peach (UK)

The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition is set to open next week offering space photographers the chance to have their work judged by a picture editor from NASA as well as to win the top prize of £10,000. The competition is open to professional and amateur photographers who can choose from nine categories in which to enter their images. Entry is free but restricted to ten images in total all of which need to have been taken since January 1st 2016.

The winner of each category will receive a £1500 prize while those in runner-up positions get £500 and Commended images win £250. There are an additional two special awards for The Sir Patrick Moore Award Best Newcomer and for Robotic Scope Image of the Year – both of which earn the photographer £750.

Joining the judging panel this year is photographer Rebecca Roth, the Image Coordinator and Social Media Specialist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. She will judge alongside a collection of astronomers and astro-photographers as well as presenters from the BBC Sky at Night TV program. Photographer Wolfgang Tillmans is also on the judging panel.

The competition is open for entries from Monday February 27th and closes on Friday April 7th. It is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in the UK along with the BBC’s Sky at Night magazine. The Royal Observatory is a charitable organization and has some terms regarding additional uses beyond the realms of the competition that entrants should acquaint themselves with before submitting their work.

For more information see the Royal Museums Greenwich website and the terms and conditions page.

Press release

INSIGHT ASTRONOMY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2017 ANNOUNCES COMPETITION DATES AND WELCOMES REBECCA ROTH OF NASA TO THE JUDGING PANEL

The Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine, announces the dates for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition – its annual global search for the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos, whether they are striking pictures of vast galaxies millions of light years away, or dramatic images of the night sky much closer to home.

Now in its ninth year, the hugely popular competition will open to entrants on Monday 27 February giving them a chance of taking home the grand prize of £10,000. Entrants will have until Friday 7 April to enter up to ten images into the various categories of the competition via www.rmg.co.uk/astrophoto.

The competition also welcomes Rebecca Roth of NASA to the judging panel. Based in Washington D.C. Rebecca is a photographer, photo editor and social media specialist, currently working as the Image Coordinator and Social Media Specialist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Rebecca has worked at NASA for nearly 8 years and is charged with sharing amazing images of our universe with the media and with the public through channels such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Prior to working at NASA, Rebecca worked as a photojournalist and photo editor for outlets including National Geographic Television & Film, Roll Call Newspaper, and USA Weekend Magazine. Of her latest role as a judge for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017, Rebecca has said, “At NASA Goddard, we build spacecraft and instruments, and invent new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe – a favorite part of my job is sharing images of these spacecraft and the images they produce with the public. This will be an exciting and unique opportunity to see the spectacular images of space captured by the public themselves and discovering their photographic interpretations of the night sky and beyond.”

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 has nine main categories:

- Skyscapes: Landscape and cityscape images of twilight and the night sky featuring the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers, comets, conjunctions, constellation rises, halos and noctilucent clouds alongside elements of earthly scenery.

- Aurorae: Photographs featuring auroral activity.

- People and Space: Photographs of the night sky including people or a human interest element.

- Our Sun: Solar images including solar eclipses and transits.

- Our Moon: Lunar images including lunar eclipses and occultation of planets.

- Planets, Comets and Asteroids: Everything else in our solar system, including planets and their satellites, comets, asteroids and other forms of zodiacal debris.

- Stars and Nebulae: Deep space objects within the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other intergalactic phenomena.

- Galaxies: Deep space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters, and stellar associations.

- Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Pictures taken by budding astronomers under the age of 16 years old.

There are also two special prizes: The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer is awarded to the best photo by an amateur astrophotographer who has taken up the hobby in the last year and who has not entered an image into the competition before, and Robotic Scope, acknowledges the best photo taken using one of the increasing number of computer-controlled telescopes at prime observing sites around the world which can be accessed over the internet by members of the public.

Entries to the competition must be submitted by 7 April 2017, and the winning images will be showcased in the annual free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich from 14 September 2017.

Photographers can enter online by visiting www.rmg.co.uk/astrophoto and each entrant may submit up to ten images to the competition.