Astronomy Photographer of the Year shortlist images released

Scenes of the Milky Way, dancing aurorae and serene galaxies are all features of the shortlist for this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year.

Shortlisted photographers include Carina Letelier Baeza for her Arctic Dragon. An impressive aurora seemingly takes the form of a dragon as a result of a geomagnetic storm.

Another shortlisted image, Solar Pulsation by Wenlian Li, shows a sunspot erupting at the edge of the Sun where material is ejected from an active volcano. 

Yann Sainty’s chosen photograph The Scream of a Dying Star, is a nod to The Scream painting by Edvard Munch, to signify the scream that continues to echo through space after the star’s death.

Solar Pulsation by Wenlian Li (Picture: Wenlian Li )

Other images which have made the cut include the Milky Way over the Isaac Newton Telescope in Spain, and supernova remnants that are more than 10,000 years old.

One of the astronomical highlights of 2023 was the meteor storms. The shortlisted image A Cosmic Firework: the Geminid Meteor Shower combines a view of the Milky Way with the spectacle of the Geminid meteor shower.

The competition is run by Royal Observatory Greenwich, supported by Liberty Specialty Markets and in association with BBC Sky at Night Magazine.

In 2024, the competition received more than 3,500 entries from passionate amateur and dedicated professional photographers, submitted from 58 countries across the globe.

The Scream of a Dying Star Yann Sainty (Picture: Yann Sainty)

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is now in its sixteenth year and returns with an expert panel of judges from the worlds of art and astronomy. 

The winners of the competition’s nine categories, two special prizes and the overall winner will be announced on September 12. Categories include Skyscapes, Aurorae, People and Space, Our Sun, Our Moon, Planets, Comets and Asteroids, Stars and Nebulae, Galaxies and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year who must be under the age of 16.

The judges will also award two special prizes including the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer for photographers who have taken up the hobby in the last year and the Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation which will feature images processed by the entrants using pre-existing open-source data.

Total Solar Eclipse by Gwenaël Blanck (Picture: Gwenaël Blanck)

The winning images will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum  in Romney Road, Deptford, from September 14, alongside a selection of shortlisted images. 

The competition’s official book, published by Collins in association with Royal Museums Greenwich, will be available on-site and online at Royal Museums Greenwich from the exhibition opening date. 

It will then be available more widely from bookstores from September 26.

Pictured top: Arctic Dragon by Carina Letelier Baeza (Picture: Carina Letelier Baeza)

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