Get viewing and get snapping - the annual competition launched in January and people all over the world are already submitting entries but everyone's still in with a chance until the closing date for entries by midday on the 13th July.
Competition judge and Sky at Night Magazine Editor, Graham Southorn said “I’m looking forward to joining the panel of judges again this summer. Last year’s winning photos were incredible - this time around I’m hoping to see some great shots of Mars and Jupiter, both of which were prominent in 2010.”
Look at last year's winning images for inspiration:
Last year’s overall winner was American astrophotographer, Tom Lowe, for his picture Blazing Bristlecone, depicting the star-studded Milky Way arching over an ancient bristlecone pine tree, thought to be one of the oldest living trees in the world, having clocked up over 4,000 years, standing sentry over the Sierra Nevada. Dr Marek Kukula said “This beautiful picture perfectly combines the awe-inspiring vista of the night sky with life here on Earth. The bristlecone pines maybe old but they are babies compared to the starlight shining behind them, some of which began its journey towards us almost 30,000 years ago.”
The winner of the deep space category was Rogelio Bernal Andreo (USA), with a highly detailed panorama of a section of the constellation of Orion, including the three famous stars of the belt, the Horsehead Nebula and the Orion Nebula. Andreo said “Since winning the prize I believe more people are aware of my work. I hope my images increase people’s wonder and interest in astronomy.”
A cliff top view of the evening sun as it sets behind a rock formation in Big Sur California submitted by Steve Christenson (USA)...
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011 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 recognises the best photo featuring people in the shot and 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. The Robotic Scope Image of the Year is a new special prize introduced for 2011, which will be 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 winners of Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011 will be announced at an award ceremony at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich on the 8th September 2011.
Photographers can enter online by visiting www.nmm.ac.uk/astrophoto and entrants may submit up to five images to the competition. The winning entries will be showcased in the annual exhibition at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich from 9 September 2011 to February 2012. Entry to the exhibition is free and we'll cover the winners stories on here as it happens...
Find out updates by checking out the Royal Observatory Greenwich site. It would be amazing to have a Starleaner.com student win, get in touch if you want some photographer pointers...Good luck!