Stokksnes Aurora © Ben Bush (UK)

Stokksnes Aurora © Ben Bush (UK)Nikon Z7 camera, 14 mm f/1.8 lens, ISO 2500, 15 x 4-second exposures. All images open in a lightbox.

The Moon and the Shard © Mathew Browne (UK)

The Moon and the Shard © Mathew Browne (UK). Nikon D850 camera, 550 mm f/10 lens, ISO 320, 3 x 1/80-second exposures.

WINNERS ANNOUNCED 10 September 2020

–  EXHIBITION OPENS 23 October 2020

The Milky Way glittering over Kynance Cove, Cornwall, star trails across the gnarled landscape of the Namib Desert and the astonishing Thor’s Helmet Nebula; a vast cloud of gas and dust where new stars are being born. Once again, the Royal Observatory’s Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 has received thousands of outstanding images. The competition, run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, sponsored by Insight Investment and in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine, is now in its twelfth year and has broken the record number of entries once more, receiving over 5,200 entries from enthusiastic amateurs and professional photographers, taken from almost 70 countries across the globe.

Entrants have captured wonders from across our solar system, galaxy and the wider Universe; from the second largest planet in our solar system, Saturn, which is wreathed by a complex system of icy rings and surrounded by more than 60 moons; an ‘Eruption’ on our sun’s surface, a prominence on one of the star’s most active regions; to the Sculptor Galaxy that wasdiscovered by Caroline Herschel in 1783 and known as a starburst galaxy for its intense star formation regions.

Shortlisted images from this year’s entrants also include a Full Moon illuminating the jagged peak of The Shard, London, a mesmerising aurora over Stokksnes headland on the Icelandic coast and a remarkable scene of a total solar eclipse, the planet Venus and the star Betelgeuse, captured at ESO’s La Silla ESO Observatory, in the Atacama Desert, Chile.

Competition judge and Royal Observatory Greenwich Astronomer, Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder said of the competition: “Astronomy is one of the most accessible sciences and everyone has looked up at the night sky at one time or another and wondered what is out there in the cosmos. Astrophotography bridges the gap between art and science, highlighting the natural beauty of our Universe. The goal of the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is to use these powerful photographs of space to engage the public with the big questions science is trying to answer, from the inner workings of a galaxy to how our Solar System came to be.”

The competition’s judges also include renowned comedian and keen amateur astronomer, Jon Culshaw; Art Editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine Steve Marsh and a host of experts from the worlds of art and astronomy. The winners of the competition’s nine categories and two special prizes will be announced on Thursday 10 September 2020. The winning images will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, alongside a selection of exceptional shortlisted images. Winners and shortlisted entries will also be published in the competition’s official book, available in September from bookstores and online, and to pre-order from the Royal Museums Greenwich online shop.


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Milky Way and Meteor at Porthgwarra © Jennifer Rogers (UK

Milky Way and Meteor at Porthgwarra © Jennifer Rogers (UK). Canon 5D Mk IV camera, ISO 1250 Sky: 17 mm f/4 lens, ISO 1250, 182-second exposure, Boat and foreround: 17mm f/8 lens, ISO 1250, 131-second exposure, Cliffs and meteor: 17 mm f/4 lens, 222-second exposure.

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