15 Astrophotography Competitions & Contests For You to Enter in 2024

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Astrophotography Competitions

Here we have compiled a list of the best astrophotography competitions from all over the world so that you can find the right ones for you to enter and maybe win some prizes (or at least some pride!).

Check it out.


Royal Museums Greenwich Astrophotography Competition

1. Astronomy Photographer of the Year

This competition is probably the most famous and prestigious astrophotography competition in the world.

It is run by Royal Museums Greenwich in London, UK that’s home to the Greenwich Observatory.

For the past few years, Skies & Scopes has done a detailed analysis of the winning images, which covers which type of images are most successful and what equipment is used.

Check that article out for an in-depth overview of what can be found out from reviewing over 800 images.

When and how to enter

The window to enter is usually early in the year (around January and February) with the winners announced in September.

Any individual can enter up to ten images and there is a small fee to pay (although free for children entering the Young competition).

The link to enter is here.

Rules and categories

There are main eight categories that adults can enter that depend on what the image is of:

  1. Aurorae
  2. Galaxies
  3. Our Moon
  4. Our Sun
  5. People and Space
  6. Planets, Comets and Asteroids
  7. Skyscapes
  8. Stars and Nebulae

And there is also three additional categories that don’t depend on what object is being photographed:

  1. Young competition – for children up to 15 years old
  2. The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer – for people who started astrophotography in the year prior and have not entered the competition before.
  3. The Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation – for creating new images using data captured by others (i.e. from a NASA space telescope like Hubble, JWST, or from a large Earth-based observatory).

Judging and prizes

There is a judging panel of 11 individuals that decide the winners.

The prizes available are:

  • Overall winner: £10,000
  • Each category winner: £1,500
  • Category runner-up: £500
  • Category ‘highly commended’: £250
  • Special prize winners: £750

For any more information about this competition, see here.

Optolong Astrophotography Competition

2. Optolong Astrophotography Competition

Optolong are astrophotography equipment manufacturers that are famous for their telescope filters.

When and how to enter

The window for entry is October to December. Anyone can enter.

Rules and categories

There are two categories for:

  • Deep sky images
  • Solar system images

Judging and prizes

Winners get cash prizes of up to USD $2000.

Winners in 2023 included friend of Skies & Scopes, Mehmet Ergün, who took the image above.

IAU OAE Astrophotography Contest

3. IAU OAE Astrophotography Contest

The International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) holds its own astrophotography contest.

When and how to enter

You can enter via the website.

Rules and categories

There are multiple categories. You can see all the terms and conditions here.

Judging and prizes

Winners get cash prizes of up to EUR 750.

4. European AstroFest Imaging Competition

European Astrofest is an annual conference that holds an astrophotography contest.

When and how to enter

You can enter via the website from February.

Rules and categories

The categories are:

  • Deep Sky
  • Solar System
  • Under-18

Judging and prizes

Winners get brand new telescopes from Celestron.

Australian Photographic Prize

5. Australian Photographic Prize

The Australian Photographic Prize is an international photography competition which includes an Astrophotography Prize as a standalone event.

When and how to enter

Entries for the Astrophotography Prize open in August with the awards event in September.

Rules and categories

There are two categories:

  1. Astro landscapes
  2. Deep Space

Judging and prizes

Judges include friend of Skies & Scopes, Andy Campbell.

For any more information about this competition, see here.

DIAS Astrophotography Competition

6. DIAS Reach for the Stars

The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) has held an astrophotography competition since 2021.

When and how to enter

Entrance is open around December to April each year.

Rules and categories

There are two categories:

  1. Out of this World – deep sky and planetary images, and
  2. Back on Earth – landscape astrophotography images.

The photographs have to have been taken in Ireland to be considered for the contest. Entrants can be any kind of astronomy image.

Judging and prizes

The judging panel is made up of three individuals from DIAS, the Irish Astronomical Society and sponsors. There is also a public vote for best image.

The prize is a package that includes a voucher for EUR500 plus the images will be printed in the Irish Times and featured in a DIAS exhibition.

For further information about this competition, see here.

nPAE Astrophotography Competition

7. nPAE Astrophotography Competition

Nottingham Precision Astro Engineering (nPEA) are a UK-based manufacturer of astronomy equipment and accessories and have periodic astrophotography competitions.

When and how to enter

The competition is divided between Northern and Southern Hemisphere images with different deadlines for each.

Rules and categories

Images can be of an astronomical object photographed in the northern hemisphere sky. This can include, the sun, moon, planets or deep sky objects.

Judging and prizes

nPEA share the shortlisted images on their Facebook page and then allow voting by members to decide the winner. 

The prizes are £200 for first place and then equipment and vouchers for runners-up.

Further information can be found here.

AstroCamera Hevelianum Competition

8. AstroCamera Hevelianum

Hevelianum is a science museum in Gdansk, Poland and they have held this annual astrophotography contest since 2011.

When and how to enter

The competition is open for entries from January to July each year.

Rules and categories

There are three categories:

  1. Deep Space Objects
  2. Solar System Objects
  3. Astro-landscape

You don’t have to be Polish or have taken the images from within Poland to be eligible to win as it is an international contest.

Judging and prizes

Prizes go up between 1,700 and 2,500 Polish Zloty (around USD $400 to $600) for category winners, with smaller cash prizes for runners-up.

The jury of made of Polish astronomers, astrophotographers and associates of the museum.

For more information, see here.

south downs astrophotography competition

9. South Downs Astrophotography Competition

The South Downs is an area of Southern England that has the status of an international dark sky reserve (despite being relatively close to London).

The local government body runs this annual astrophotography contest that ties in with its annual Dark Skies Festival.

When and how to enter

The window for entry is around November to January each year.

Rules and categories

There are three categories but all images must be taken in the South Downs National Park in the UK.

Judging and prizes

There are cash prizes for the winners of each category.

For more information, see here.

Astrofest Astrophotography Competition and Exhibition

10. Astrofest Astrophotography Competition

Astronomy WA (Western Australia) host their annual astrophotography competition that supports the (also) annual Astrofest exhibition.

When and how to enter

The competition is open for entries from October to December.

Rules and categories

There are six categories:

  1. Deep Sky
  2. Solar
  3. Lunar
  4. Planetary
  5. Nightscape
  6. Timelapse video

The competition is open to residents of Western Australia only.

Judging and prizes

The winning images will be displayed at the touring Astrofest exhibition.

There are a range of pretty good prizes donated by sponsors, with the overall winner getting a brand new Sony Alpha camera.

All further info can be found here.

David Malin Awards

11. David Malin Awards

The Central West Astronomical Society in Australia runs the annual David Malin Awards astrophotography competition.

When and how to enter

The competition is open to entrants from April to May with the winners announced in July. 

Rules and categories

There are multiple categories but entrance is available for Australian nationals only. There is a fee for entry.

Judging and prizes

Winners are decided by the judge, Dr. David Malin, and prizes are made up of Canon photography equipment.

Further information about the contest can be found here.

Indian Astrophotographer of the Year

12. Indian Astrophotographer of the Year

The organization Astronomads Bangla holds what it claims to be the biggest astrophotograpy competition in India.

When and how to enter

The competition is open to entrants from September to October with the winners announced in December.

Rules and categories

There are multiple categories (including for female astrophotographers) and entrance is available for Indian nationals only.

Judging and prizes

Judges include friend of Skies & Scopes, Vikas Chander.

13. UK Astronomy Photo Competition

British charitable organization, UK Astronomy, holds this competition annually.

When and how to enter

You can enter via the website.

Rules and categories

There are multiple categories and entrance is available for UK nationals only.

Judging and prizes

Winners get a calendar that includes their image.

New Zealand Astrophography Competition

14. New Zealand Astrophography Competition

When and how to enter

You can enter via the website. The deadline is in September.

Rules and categories

There are multiple categories and entrance is available for New Zealand residents only.

Judging and prizes

It’s judged by astrophotographer and Youtuber, Dylan O’Donnell.

Prizes include cash and astro gear.

15. Fornax Mounts Astrophotography Competition

Fornax make some of the best astrophotography mounts.

When and how to enter

You can enter via the website with the deadline in October.

Rules and categories

There are three categories:

  1. Deep Sky
  2. Milky Way
  3. Solar system

Judging and prizes

The prizes are made up of free Fornax gear.


Other Astrophotography Contests

There are other astrophotography contests that you can enter as well as annual competitions.

NASA Astronomy Photograph of the Day (APOD)

NASA Astronomy Photograph of the Day (APOD)

Not an annual contest like the others on this list, but to have one of your photos featured as an ‘APOD’ is quite an honor.

Each day an astronomy image is crowned Astronomy Photograph of the Day and shared on the famous website.

To enter you can submit photos for consideration at any time Any astrophotography image can be considered and winners can range from DLSR nightscapes to Hubble deep space photos.

Featured images are chosen by the site’s editors. There are no prizes, just pride!

The APOD site can be seen here and the submission page here.

AAPOD2 - Amateur Astronomy Picture of the Day

AAPOD2 – Amateur Astronomy Picture of the Day

AAPOD2 is the Amateur Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Like the NASA APOD above, it is a daily competition, but also has monthly and annual winners.

You can submit photos for consideration at any time. Any amateur astrophotography image can be considered of landscape, planetary or deep space.

Featured images are chosen by the site’s editors.

The AAPOD2 site can be seen here and the submission page here.

Space.Com Astrophoto of the Month

Each month space.com chooses an “astrophoto of the month”.

You can enter by sending your photo(s) plus your name and location to spacephotos@space.com.


Are there any astrophotography competitions that we’ve missed?

There are a number of past astrophotography competitions that apparently are no longer running, including Atik Cameras Astrophotography Competition.

Please get in touch either in the comments below or by email if you know of any other relevant competition from anywhere in the world. 

We want to keep this page up-to-date and as complete as possible for finding out information on current astrophotography competitions.

We have kept this list specifically to astronomy imaging contests, but budding photographers may also have success entering more broad photography competitions, for instance, entering Milky Way skyscapes in general landscape photography competitions.

Good luck!

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About the Author

Anthony Robinson is the founder and owner of Skies & Scopes, a publication and community focused on amateur astronomy and astrophotography. His work has been featured in publications such as Amateur Astrophotography, Forbes, the Guardian, DIY Photography, PetaPixel, and Digital Camera World - read more.

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14 thoughts on “15 Astrophotography Competitions & Contests For You to Enter in 2024”

  1. Very Interesting
    Please keep me informed about the various competitions so that i can get amature astronomers in India interested.

    Reply
  2. The Australian Photographic Prize now has two special categories for Astrophotography, Astro Deep Space and Astro Landscape.
    International entrants are welcome, and you could win one of two William Optics Redcat 51’s from Sidereal Trading.

    The top 25 images will be judged live by a panel of five leading Astrophotographers and an Astrophysicist, and this judging will be broadcast on YouTube. These debates are sure to be both educational and exciting!
    Entrants can get written feedback on their work, which is also unique in Astro imaging competitions.
    Entries are open from June 1st to July 3rd 2023.

    Reply
  3. There is a growing community of folks who use mobile phones to do astrophotography. It would be great to see some contests include this category.

    Reply

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