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Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2011 Competition Now Open

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich is proud to present Astronomy Photographer of the Year, showcasing some incredible images of the sky, from within our solar system to deep space. Last years competition was a huge success and this years is set to be even greater. It is a free to enter competition, and all the details can be found below.

How To Enter


Above image - Blazing Bristlecone by Tom Lowe (USA) Competition Winner 2010

Entries to the competition open on Thursday 20 January 2011 and close at midday (BST) on 13 July 2011. To enter the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition you will first need to add your photos to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year group on the photo-sharing website, Flickr. Once you have done this, fill in the online application form on this website here. Through this form you will be able to nominate your chosen category and consideration for any of the relevant special prizes.

If you are under 16 and would like to enter your photos into the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category or Robotic Scope Image of the Year special prize, please complete a special online application form, found here

Submitting images and eligibility


Above Image - Siberian Totality by Anthony Aylomanmitis (Greece) - Category Winner 2010 - Our Solar System

Entrants may submit up to five photos per month to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Flickr group and five photos in total to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition – this includes entries via this website by Young entrant.
By adding a photo to the group on Flickr or submitting images via this website by Young entrants you confirm to the Royal Observatory Greenwich that it:

        was taken and processed by you 
        is consistent with the Flickr Community Guidelines
        is your original work
        does not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party
        does not contain any obscene or defamatory content or material
        was taken within two years immediately prior to the competition closing date

The following images are not eligible for entry to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition:

        Photos that have already been previously published or submitted to a print publication or its associated online media brand 
        Photos that have won a prize in a major competition (one receiving more than 500 photos) 
        Photos taken more than two years before the competition closing date (i.e. taken before 13 July 2009)
        Photos that use a substantial amount of data from a previously published image

Using data from before 13 July 2009 is permitted so long as a substantial portion of the image is created using data captured within the dates of the competition. If data used in an image was captured outside the competition dates, please state roughly what percentage of the total data it constitutes.

Main categories


Above image - Orion Deep Wide Field by Rogello Bernai Andreo (USA) Category Winner 2010 Deep Space

The four main competition categories are:

        Earth and Space: This is for photos that include landscape, people and other 'Earthly' things. Your picture should also include an astronomical subject – for example the stars, the Moon, or near-Earth phenomena such as aurora.

        Our Solar System: This is for photos of our Sun and its family of planets, moons, asteroids and comets.

        Deep Space: This is for photos of anything beyond our Solar System, including stars, nebulae and galaxies.

        Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year: See below for details of this category.

Each of these categories will have one overall winner, a runner up and three highly commended awards.

Special prizes


Above Image - Photon Worshippers by steven Christenson (USA) - Category Winner 2010 - People and Space

The judges will also be awarding a number of additional prizes. If you would like your photo to be considered for these prizes please indicate as appropriate on the online entry form. These prizes are:

        People and Space: For astronomy photos that include people in a creative and original way. We will also award a runner-up for this category.

        Best Newcomer: This is for photographers who've taken up the hobby in the last year and have not entered an image to the competition before. The judges will give special consideration to those using simple and inexpensive start-out kit so please update your photo’s Flickr description to say what you've used. If you’re shortlisted for this prize, the judges would also like to look at a small portfolio of your other astroimages. This will help them to better assess the overall standard of your imaging and see how you’ve progressed and improved during your first year of astrophotography.

        Robotic Scope Image of the Year: This special prize is awarded by the judges for images that have been taken by robotic/remote telescopes and that have been processed by yourself. Any age entrant may enter, however images captured remotely/robotically are not eligible for the main judging categories.

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category


Above image, Young Astronomy Photographer 2010 - Winner - A Perfect Circle by Dhruv Arvind Paranjpye (India) aged 14

This is the competition category for those under the age of 16 at the competition closing date. If you would like to enter this category, you can do so through the online application form. If your photo is shortlisted, your parent or guardian will need to sign a written consent form. This category will have one overall winner, a runner up and three highly commended awards.


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