2017 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year Competition Opens

ESO in partnership with the Royal Observatory Greenwich

22 February 2017

The Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine, has announced the key 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.

ESO supports the 2017 competition by providing a judge from its education and Public Outreach Department (ePOD).

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

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 occultations of planets.
  • Planets, Comets and Asteroids: Everything else in the 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 16 years of age.

There are also two special prizes: the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer, 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, which acknowledges the best photo taken using one of the increasing number of computer-controlled telescopes stationed at prime observing sites around the world and accessed over the internet by members of the public.

Entries to the competition must be submitted by 7 April 2017, and the winners will be announced at an award ceremony at the Royal Observatory on 14 September 2017. The winning photographs will be exhibited at the Astronomy Centre from 16 September 2017. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Photographers can enter online by visiting and each entrant may submit up to ten images to the competition.

More information

The overall winner will receive £10,000. Winners of all categories including the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year will receive £1,500. There are also prizes for runners-up (£500) and highly commended (£250) entries. The Special Prize winners will receive £750.  All of the winning entries will receive a one year subscription to BBC Sky at Night Magazine.  The full list of rules for photographers are available at and



Rhianon Davies
Royal Observatory Greenwich Press Office
Tel: +44 20 8312 6545
Cell: +44 7983 512841

Peter Grimley
ESO Assistant Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6383

About the Announcement



Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year logo
Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year logo