PICS: Astronomy photographer of the Year shots show the wonder of the world

Cape Town -  The 2015 Astronomy photographer of the Year photographs have been revealed, showing the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos - some striking pictures of vast galaxies millions of light years away, others dramatic images of the night sky much closer to home. 

Now in its eighth year, the hugely popular competition has also already announced the details for the 2016 competition, which will open to entrants on Monday 29 February 2016.

The overall winner for the 2015 Astronomy photographer of the Year went to  Luc Jamet France. Jamet's photograph captured a complete eclipse over Sassendalen.

Eclipse Totality over Sassendalen © Luc Jamet (France) 

You can view all the 2015 Astronomy photographer of the Year photographs here: Astronomy photographer of the Year

The 2016 competition also sees an increase in prize money for all of the winners with the overall prize winner taking home £10 000, or roughly R233 000.  It is organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine. 

ALSO SEE: Photo of Table Mountain wins International Earth and Sky Photo Contest 2015

Entries to the competition must be submitted by 14 April 2016, and the winning images will be showcased in the annual free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich from 17 September 2016. 
The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 can be entered for in nine main categories, namely:
- Skyscapes: Landscape and cityscape images of twilight and the night sky featuring the Milky Way, star trails, meteor showers, comets, conjunctions, constellation rises, halos and noctilucent clouds alongside elements of earthly scenery. 
- Aurorae: Photographs featuring auroral activity. 
- People and Space: Photographs of the night sky including people or a human interest element.
- Our Sun: Solar images including solar eclipses and transits. 
- Our Moon: Lunar images including lunar eclipses and occultation of planets. 
- Planets, Comets and Asteroids: Everything else in our solar system, including planets and their satellites, comets, asteroids and other forms of zodiacal debris. 
- Stars and Nebulae: Deep space objects within the Milky Way galaxy, including stars, star clusters, supernova remnants, nebulae and other intergalactic phenomena. 
- Galaxies: Deep space objects beyond the Milky Way galaxy, including galaxies, galaxy clusters, and stellar associations.
- Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Pictures taken by budding astronomers under the age of 16 years old. 

Photographers can enter online by visiting and each entrant may submit up to five images to the competition. 

You can view all the 2015 Astronomy photographer of the Year photographs here: Astronomy photographer of the Year

Winner: Silk Skies © Jamen Percy (Australia)

Winner: Huge Prominence Lift-off © Paolo Porcellana (Italy)

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