The Royal Observatory Greenwich launched their 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Entries to this year’s competition must be submitted by 24 April 2014, and the winning images will be showcased in the annual free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich from 18 September 2014 to February 2015.
The competition attracted a record-breaking number of entries last year, with spectacular images submitted from around the world and Mark Gee won with his image above, depicting a star-riddled Milky Way alongside the beam from a lighthouse on Cape Palliser in New Zealand.
Royal Observatory Greenwich Press Release
Shooting Stars: Global Search for Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 Begins
The Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Sky at Night Magazine, launches its 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition at midday – kicking off 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 taken much closer to home.
Entries to the competition must be submitted by 24 April 2014, and the winning images will be showcased in the annual free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich from 18 September 2014 to February 2015.
Now in its sixth year, the competition attracted a record-breaking number of entries last year, with spectacular images submitted from around the world. Mark Gee (Australia) won with his extraordinary image depicting a star-riddled Milky Way alongside the beam from a lighthouse on Cape Palliser in New Zealand, shining out towards the sea, the stars and the unknown.
Other winning images from 2013 showcased astounding astronomical wonders of the night sky such as Sam Cornwell’s ghostly, visceral depiction of the 2012 Transit of Venus that won the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer, and winner of the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year, 14-year-old Jacob Marchio’s (US) striking shot of the Milky Way rendered with a dusky brown colour palette.
Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich and judge in the competition said:
‘Two of my favourite elements of the competition are the Young Astronomy Photographer category and the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer, so I’m hoping to see lots of new entries for both of these in 2014. Often it’s the entries from young photographers and complete beginners that blow the judges away – having an eye for a really striking picture is the most important thing and you can take a great astrophoto just by pointing your camera.’
Competition judge and Sky at Night Magazine Editor, Chris Bramley, said:
‘I’m really looking forward to seeing the new and exciting ways that the beauty of space will be captured in 2014. It’s been a fantastic time to be aiming a camera skyward: with comets, meteor showers and strong solar activity, and with some great planetary appearances in the early part of 2014, I’m anticipating a spectacular field of images this year.’
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 has four main categories:
Earth and Space – Photographs that include landscape, people and other earth-related things alongside an astronomical subject ranging from the stars, the Moon or near-Earth phenomena such as the aurora.
Our Solar System – Imagery which captures the Sun and its family of planets, moons, asteroids and comets.
Deep Space – Pictures that capture anything beyond the Solar System, including stars, nebulae and galaxies.
Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year – Pictures taken by budding astronomers under the age of 16 years old.
There are also three special prizes: People and Space recognises the best photo featuring people in the shot; 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.
The competition is powered by the photo-sharing website Flickr. Photographers can enter online by visiting http://www.rmg.co.uk/astrophoto and each entrant may submit up to five images to the competition.
Photo: Guiding Light to the Stars by Mark Gee (Australia)