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The Sky is the Limit with New Photographic Competition

Entrees sought for the 2015 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition

The Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine, has launched the 2015 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition – 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 much closer to home.

Now in its seventh year, the hugely popular competition has been expanded to include a host of new categories and welcomes aboard a new title sponsor in the form of leading European investment manager; Insight Investment.

Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich and judge in the competition said:  “Over the last six years of the competition we’ve seen some really exciting and beautiful themes and subjects emerging from the astrophotography community. We wanted the competition to reflect the photographers’ interests and so we’ve created the new categories around them. This will really showcase the full range of amazing pictures that are coming in each year and I’m really looking forward to seeing the entries in 2015. As always, there are bound to be some surprises.”

Competition judge and BBC Sky at Night Magazine Editor, Chris Bramley, said: "I’m very excited at the prospect of judging this year’s entries: the introduction of new categories gives even more exposure to the full range of the night sky's beauty. I’m hoping to see some stunning eclipse imagery in the ‘Our Sun’ category from the total solar eclipse on 20th March and can’t wait to see the ‘Galaxies’ and ‘Stars and Nebulae’ entries depicting the exotic treasury of objects that populates deep space.”

 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 has nine main categories:

  • Skyscapes sponsored by Insight Investment: Landscape and cityscape images of twilight and the night sky featuring the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers, comets, conjunctions, constellation rises, halos and noctilucent clouds alongside elements of earthly scenery.
  • Aurorae: Photographs featuring auroral activity.
  • People and Space: Photographs of the night sky including people or a human interest element.
  • Our Sun: Solar images including solar eclipses and transits.
  • Our Moon: Lunar images including lunar eclipses and occultation of planets.
  • Planets, Comets and Asteroids: Everything else in our solar system, including planets and their satellites, comets, asteroids and other forms of zodiacal debris.
  • Stars and Nebulae: Deep space objects within the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other intergalactic phenomena.
  • Galaxies: Deep space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters, and stellar associations.
  • Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Pictures taken by budding astronomers under the age of 16 years old.

There are also two special prizes: 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.

Entries to the competition must be submitted by 16 April 2015, and the winning images will be showcased in the annual free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich from 18 September 2015.

The competition is powered by the photo-sharing website Flickr.  Photographers can enter online by visiting www.rmg.co.uk/astrophoto and each entrant may submit up to five images to the competition.

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