Two weeks left to enter Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017

With just over two weeks left to enter the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 competition, the Royal Observatory Greenwich has released a sneak peek at some of this year’s entrants. If you are interested in submitting pictures, you have until 12pm UK time on 7 April to be in with a chance of winning the £10,000 first prize award.

Photographers can enter their images online by visiting, where full competition rules and some top tips on photographing everything from star trails to galaxies and nebulae are also available.

The winning images will be featured in an exhibition  at the Royal Observatory which opens on 16 September 2017.

Here’s a sampling of some of the images submitted so far for this year’s competition:

Jellyfish Nebula
This narrowband composition by Chris Heapy includes the bright supernova remnant Sh2-249 to the right of the image – nicknamed the Jellyfish for its distinctive resemblance to the animal. The upper left of the photograph depicts a much fainter background area of nebulosity. The Jellyfish is a convoluted tangle of gaseous filaments rapidly expanding away from the initial explosion, but structural analysis (professional observatory data) actually shows what we are seeing are two lobes superimposed on each other, but from this angle one appear as the ‘head’ of the jellyfish (to the left) and the other lobe (to the right) as the dangling tentacles. The fainter background nebula is a large cloud of mostly molecular hydrogen gas and dust, illuminated by a few young blue embedded stars and criss-crossed by tendrils of dark dust clouds shown as silhouettes because they lie between us and the bright nebula. Image © Chris Heapy.

Chris Cook’s 8 year old son gazes up at the starry summer Milky Way filled sky from his little league baseball field in Harwich, Massachusetts, USA. Maybe he was dreaming of being a pro baseball player or maybe an astronaut? One of the most important responsibilities in being a parent is to help keep your child’s dreams alive – this is his ‘Field of Dreams’. Image: © Chris Cook.

Supermoon over the Acropolis
The biggest and brightest supermoon of the century rises over the Parthenon at the Acropolis of Athens, Greece on Nov 14, 2016. A composite image made of two different exposures of the same scene – one with a properly exposed moon and the other with a properly exposed Parthenon. After blending the two images together, I kept the moon slightly overexposed and the Parthenon slightly underexposed for a more realistic outcome. Image: © Alexandros Maragos.

Shard of Night Sky
Haitong Yu of China, captures star trails and their reflection in a puddle after a rainy day at a desert oasis. The water was so calm that the reflection looked surreal. The image was composed from a series of 168 pictures, shot continuously during a period of 1.2 hours. Image: © Haitong Yu.