Top 10 Astrophotography Competitions | Space

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There are many astrophotography competitions around the world that celebrate the work of dedicated astrophotographers, and in particular, amateur astrophotographers. They are a great showcase for photographers to gain further exposure for their work and recognition for their talents, boosting their profile and career and igniting the public imagination with breathtaking images of the night sky and the sky. deep space.

Many of these prestigious competitions are open to anyone and most are international in scope. Provided they have the passion, skill and dedication for astrophotography, anyone has the chance to win – often a cash prize – and join the ranks of some of the world’s most famous astrophotographers.

Below we have included contests that are aimed at both landscape photographers and deep space photographers. For the former you only need your trusty camera, but for the latter you will probably need to use one of the better telescopes as part of your photographic setup.

Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at our article on Women in Astrophotography, which features the best tips from the experts. Or fill your social feeds with images of the night sky by following these 10 inspiring astrophotographers on Instagram.


One of the most prestigious astrophotography competitions, run by one of the UK’s most famous museums, is now in its 13th year and in 2021 it has attracted an impressive 4,500 entries from over 75 countries around the world. The competition seeks outstanding representations of astronomy and this year’s winner, by Chinese amateur photographer Shuchang Dong, of an annular solar eclipse offered something truly unique and different from all the other entries. The quality of the photo from its composition to its focus should really stand out and offer an imaginative and evocative representation of its subject.


Atik Cameras is a company specializing in astronomical imaging equipment, founded a little over 15 years ago. The company’s competition, the Astrophotography Competition 2021, is open until January 14, 2022. Its criteria are a little more specific than those of the Royal Museum and the images submitted must be taken using a device. photo Atik. They must also be images that have never been submitted to this contest before. However, you can submit as many photos as you want as long as they meet the criteria mentioned above. Looking at the entries so far in this contest, there are some truly magical photos that truly capture the wonder and scale of astrophotography.


Nottingham Precision Astro Engineering (nPAE) is a UK-based company that manufactures astrophotography equipment and holds its Southern Hemisphere Photography Contest annually. Anyone can enter but the subject must be taken from the southern hemisphere. Prizes include cash, a Theia Astro Imaging filter changer, and an nPAE discount voucher. The shots here must be dramatic and involve imaginative use of astrophotography equipment, and the subjects captured can be any type of astronomical phenomenon. Previous winners from years past have come from places like the UK, Mexico and Hungary.


An astrophotography competition launched ten years ago, the 2021 Hevelianum AstroCamera International Astrophotography Competition was created to commemorate an important milestone in scientific history. 2011 was the year that marked the 400th birthday of Johannes Hevelius, an astronomer and artist from Gdansk, Poland, who meticulously documented important celestial events, such as eclipses, comets, and sunspots. Hevelianum is based in Poland and it has three categories that people can enter: Deep Space Objects, Solar System Objects, and Astro-Landscapes. Prizes are awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each. Anyone who is an amateur astrophotographer can participate and photos should display a bold and creative use of composition and framing.


Organized by the organization in charge of a designated area of ​​natural beauty in the south of England, the South Downs National Park astrophotography competition has three distinct categories: South Downs Dark Skyscapes, Living Dark Skies: people and nature and Our Magnificent Moon. Entries should display a rational use of composition which also shows how the sky interacts with the landscape. The previous winners and finalists all displayed a unique take on the categories they entered. The first prize for the adult category is £ 250, with a second prize of £ 150, a third prize of £ 100 and a fourth prize of £ 50.


The Hungarian company Fornax has just launched a brand new astrophotography competition. There are a number of categories, including deep sky objects: (deep sky photographs such as galaxies, star clusters or nebulae), astro landscapes (photographs showing elements of the landscape with astronomical objects , p. the celestial sphere, etc.), and objects of the solar system (photographs showing objects of our solar system such as the Sun, the Moon, planets or comets.) The judges are from Hungary, Norway, from Germany and the United States and there is a price range, the grand prize being a Fornax 52 mount plus an MC5 controller.


Landscape Photographer of the Year was founded in 2006 to celebrate the best of British landscapes. The competition also examines the intersection between man and the environment, including how the people and landscapes of this country interact with the night sky. Four categories are available for submitting photographs: Classic View, Black & White, Your View and Urban Life.


Not strictly speaking a competition like the others, but this one nevertheless presents each day a different photo on the APOD site of NASA (and Instagram, as seen above). Anyone can participate and each entry is accompanied by a report from a professional astronomer. It’s been running since 2015 online and has been a showcase for some pretty spectacular photos for the past six years, one that gives people a real opportunity to get their work seen by a wider audience.


Run by the British magazine Amateur Photographer for 40 years now, Amateur Photographer of The Year is an annual competition open to all. Its Travel category includes plenty of opportunities for astrophotographers to showcase their expertise, skills and creativity. Entries in this specific category show the majesty of nature and places, and how the sky complements spectacular scenery.


Organized by the BPA, this competition celebrates the landscapes of our planet and is also open to astrophotographers. The category that relates to the work of an amateur astrophotographer is the best landscape photographer and previous entries have included some very powerful shots, showing how the earth interacts with the sky. Entrants can be based anywhere in the world and winners will have their work showcased at public events hosted by the BPA.


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