Montana’s big, starry skies and the deep purple plumes of the Carina Nebula are among the shortlist of finalists announced earlier this month by the Royal Observatory Greenwich as part of its Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Closeups of the Moon, Los Angeles’ strangely beautiful skyline, and the dazzling tail of Comet Leonard are all competing entries as well.
Now in its 14th year, the contest features amateur photographers from 67 countries with snapshots in categories such as skyscapes, aurorae, asteroids, the Moon, and more. The ultimate winner will receive the coveted title of Astronomy Photographer of the Year.
Other prizes already awarded include Best Newcomer and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year. The Annie Maunder Prize for Digital Innovation has also been awarded for a dramatic cyanotype photograph of Earth. Cyanotypes were invented in the mid-1800s; they use chemicals such as ferric ammonium oxalate or ferric ammonium citrate combined with potassium ferricyanide on paper or another surface. Exposing the material to ultraviolet light creates a blue-green image.
The Astronomy Photographer of the Year will be announced September 15 and the photo will be on display, along with winners in other categories and shortlisted contestants, at the National Maritime Museum in London on September 17. A book of all the photos will be released later that month.