Astronomy photographer of the year competition opens for submissions

An astrophotographer with a telescope in front of the Milky Way.
An astrophotographer with a telescope in front of the Milky Way. (Image credit: Tony Rowell/Getty Images)

Astrophotographers, start your engines. 

The Royal Observatory Greenwich's 15th annual Photographer of the Year competition is about to begin. From Jan. 9 through 7:00 a.m. EST (1200 GMT) on March 3, photographers from around the world can submit up to 10 space-related images to the competition, which seeks to find "the most striking images of our cosmos" — ones that have been taken after Jan. 1, 2022, that is.

2023 looks to be a promising year for skywatching with a naked-eye comet visiting for the first time in 50,000 years and an annular solar eclipse on top of the usual highlights such as annual meteor showers, so there will be plenty of tantalizing targets for astrophotographers to point their cameras at.

Related: Stunning image of Comet Leonard breakup wins top astronomy photography prize of 2022

Awards will be granted to an overall winner, plus winners across the following eight categories:

There's also a Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year for photographers under the age of 16, as well as two special awards: the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer and the Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation, which celebrates images processed with open-source data.

The overall Astronomy Photographer of the Year will win £10,000, while winners of the sub-categories and the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year will win £1,500. 

Runners-up and highly-commended entries in the sub-categories will get £500 and £250, respectively, and each special award winner will receive £750. All winners will also receive a one-year subscription to BBC Sky at Night Magazine, and the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year will receive a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ MD telescope.

To enter the Royal Observatory Greenwich's 15th annual Photographer of the Year competition, read through the competition rules (opens in new tab), then head to apy.rmg.co.uk (opens in new tab) to submit your entries. The winners will be announced on Sept. 14, 2023, with all winning photographs being exhibited at London's National Maritime Museum afterward. 

Thinking about entering, but haven't taken your photo yet? Photographers looking for helpful tips should check out our beginner's guide to astrophotography. And if you're in need of an equipment upgrade, we've got you covered there, too: take a look through our guides to the best astrophotography cameras and best astrophotography lenses.

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Stefanie Waldek
Contributing writer

Space.com contributing writer Stefanie Waldek is a self-taught space nerd and aviation geek who is passionate about all things spaceflight and astronomy. With a background in travel and design journalism, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University, she specializes in the budding space tourism industry and Earth-based astrotourism. In her free time, you can find her watching rocket launches or looking up at the stars, wondering what is out there. Learn more about her work at www.stefaniewaldek.com (opens in new tab).