Astronomy Photographer of the Year offers vibrant look at universe

Shortlisted entries for annual competition are out of this world

The Jellyfish Nebula, a supernova remnant
Jellyfish Nebula, a supernova remnant (SNR) in the constellation Gemini
(Image credit: Peter Larkin)

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition has started with a big bang, as amateur and professional photographers from across the world have submitted their best shots.

The “stunning selection” of images include “star trails”, “the Milky Way over a 12th-century castle in North Wales”, and a picture of Jupiter “flanked by two of its moons”, said BBC Science Focus.

This year, the competition received “over 4,000 entries” from “64 countries around the globe”, Sky at Night Magazine added.

The competition is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, and brings together an expert panel of judges from the worlds of art and astronomy.

The winning photographers will have their images displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, from 16 September, alongside a selection of exceptional shortlisted images.

The photographers have not been short of stunning and astounding events to capture in 2023. Venus and Jupiter put on an “illuminating show” as they seemed to be “nearly touching each other” in a strange optical illusion in March, said The Washington Post. And back in February, a “once-in-a-lifetime” green comet dazzled on its path across the night sky, Sky News reported.

And for the rest of the year, Britons have a lot to look forward to when looking up to the skies. July and August will see the Perseid meteor shower, often considered “a highlight of many meteor lovers’ calendars”, Royal Museums Greenwich said. In October, a partial lunar eclipse should be visible “throughout all of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and western Australia”, the museums website stated.

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Rebekah Evans joined The Week as newsletter editor in 2023 and has written on subjects ranging from Ukraine and Afghanistan to fast fashion and "brotox". She started her career at Reach plc, where she cut her teeth on news, before pivoting into personal finance at the height of the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis. Social affairs is another of her passions, and she has interviewed people from across the world and from all walks of life. Rebekah completed an NCTJ with the Press Association and has written for publications including The Guardian, The Week magazine, the Press Association and local newspapers.