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It’s back! The 2013 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is now open and accepting submissions. This is the fifth year of the competition, which is is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in association with Sky at Night Magazine. Every year it produces some of 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.
“Every year brings something new to see in the sky and the arrival in March of the predicted Comet C/2011 PANSTARRS will hopefully inspire some memorable pictures in this year’s competition,” said Dr. Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the ROG and judge in the competition. “It will be great to see even more entries from talented young photographers and newcomers to astrophotography who prove year after year that all you need to do is pick up a camera.”
Entries to the competition must be submitted by June 13, 2013. There are some great prizes, too. The overall winner will receive £1,500. Category winners will receive £500. There are also prizes for runners-up (£250) and highly commended (£125) entries. The Special Prize winners will receive £350, with an £125 prize for the People and Space Special Prize runner-up. All of the winning entries will receive a one year subscription to Sky at Night Magazine.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 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 recognizes the best photo featuring people in the shot; 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, is awarded for 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 winning images will be showcased in the annual free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich from September 19, 2013 to February 23, 2014.
Find more info and enter online by visiting www.rmg.co.uk/astrophoto . Each entrant may submit up to five images to the competition.
To view the entries submitted so far, visit www.flickr.com/groups/astrophoto
So get out there with your camera! And good luck!