Behold the awe-inspiring winning photos of 2019 Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Tips & Techniques

Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year has just announced the winners of its 2019 competition. Just like every year, the photos are a real treat for all astronomy and astrophotography geeks. Even if you aren’t one, these amazing photos will make you fall in love with astrophotography.

And the winner is…

This is the eleventh year of the competition, and this year it received a record number of entries: over 4,600 entries from 90 countries all over the globe. Hungarian photographer László Francsics has won the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s title of Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019. His photo “Into the Shadow” was taken in Budapest, Hungary, and it depicts a creative and artistic composition of the 35 phases of the total lunar eclipse that occurred on 21 January 2019.

Into the Shadow © László Francsics (Hungary) – WINNER AND OVERALL WINNER

Competition judge Ed Robinson said:

“For a single multiple-exposure image to capture this event with such positional precision, creative innovation and beauty is nothing short of masterful. The colours of our atmosphere projected onto the Moon’s disc during the eclipse are not only artistically pleasing but also offer an understanding of such events that can reveal aspects of our own, thin, yet essential part of our atmosphere. In a year that celebrates 50 years since the first lunar landings it is fitting that this year’s overall winning image captures such a dynamic and captivating view of our Moon. A worthy winner indeed”.

Judge Oana Sandu from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) added: “The original composition, the quality of the shots themselves, the chromatic and visual impact, all make for a photograph that will catch the viewer’s eye and interest.”


As for the categories, they are the same as last year:

  1. Our Moon
  2. Aurorae
  3. Galaxies
  4. Our Sun
  5. People and Space
  6. Planets, Comets and Asteroids
  7. Skyscapes
  8. Stars and Nebulae
  9. Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year (astrophotographers under the age of 16)

Other than the overall winner and category winners, the judges have also awarded two special prizes: The Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer and The Robotic Scope Image of the Year. This year, for the first time since the launch of The Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer category, the judges have chosen two joint winners due to the high standard of images received.


The first place earned Francsics the £10,000 prize, and his photo will be displayed at the exhibition of winning photos, opening at the National Maritime Museum on 13 September 2019. There will be photos of all category winners, runners-up and highly commended, as well as a selection of 68 shortlisted images. Winners of all other categories and the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year will receive £1,500. There are also prizes for runners-up (£500) and highly commended (£250) entries. The Special Prize winners will receive £750.  All of the winning entries will receive a one-year subscription to BBC Sky at Night Magazine.

And now, the photos!

So, if the road takes you to London between 13 September 2019 and 26 April 2020, make sure to visit the exhibition at the National Maritime Museum. If not, you can also order a book containing the winning photos. And of course, you can take a look at the winning photos by just scrolling down. : )

For those who can never get enough of astronomy photos (which I can totally understand and relate to), here are some more collections:


Our Moon

Into the Shadow © László Francsics (Hungary) – WINNER AND OVERALL WINNER

Crescent Moon During the Day © Rafael Ruiz (Spain) – RUNNER-UP

Seven-colour Feather of the Moon © Yiming Li (China) – HIGHLY COMMENDED


The Watcher © Nicolai Brügger (Germany) – WINNER

Aurora Australis from Beerbarrel Beach © James Stone (Australia) – RUNNER-UP

The Return of Green Lady © Ruslan Merzlyakov (Latvia) – HIGHLY COMMENDED


Shells of Elliptical Galaxy NGC 3923 in Hydra © Rolf Wahl Olsen (Denmark) – WINNER

Hydrogen Sculptures in The Large Magellanic Cloud © Ignacio Diaz Bobillo (Argentina) – RUNNER-UP

Andromeda Galaxy © Raul Villaverde Fraile (Spain) – HIGHLY COMMENDED

Our Sun

A Little Fireworks © Alan Friedman (USA) – WINNER

The Active Area AR12714 © Gabriel Corban (Romania) – RUNNER-UP

The Sun – Atmospheric Detail © Jason Guenzel (USA) – HIGHLY COMMENDED

People and Space

Ben, Floyd and the Core © Ben Bush (UK) – WINNER

Above the Tower © Sam King (UK) – RUNNER-UP

Cosmic Plughole © James Stone (Australia) – HIGHLY COMMENDED

Planets, Comets and Asteroids

Death of Opportunity © Andy Casely (Australia) – WINNER

Jupiter Unravelled © Damian Peach (UK) – RUNNER-UP

Black Saturn © Martin Lewis (UK) – HIGHLY COMMENDED


Across the Sky of History © Wang Zheng (China) – WINNER

Galactic Lighthouse © Ruslan Merzlyakov (Latvia) – RUNNER-UP

Flower Power © Brandon Yoshizawa (USA) – HIGHLY COMMENDED

Stars and Nebulae

Statue of Liberty Nebula © Ignacio Diaz Bobillo (Argentina) – WINNER

A Horsehead Curtain Call © Bob Franke (USA) – RUNNER-UP

The Elegant Elephant’s Trunk © Lluís Romero Ventura (Spain) – HIGHLY COMMENDED

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year (astrophotographers under the age of 16)

Stellar Flower © Davy van der Hoeven (Netherlands), aged 11 – WINNER

AR 12699 Sunspot © Matúš Motlo (Slovakia), aged 14 – RUNNER-UP

Daytime Venus © Thea Hutchinson (UK), aged 12 – HIGHLY COMMENDED

Van Eyck’s Moon © Casper Kentish (UK), aged 9 – HIGHLY COMMENDED

M31 Andromeda Galaxy © Tom Mogford (UK), aged 15 – HIGHLY COMMENDED

Special Prize: The Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer

The Jewels of Orion © Ross Clark (UK) – JOINT WINNER

Sky and Ground, Stars and Sand © Shuchang Dong (China) – JOINT WINNER

Special Prize: Robotic Scope

Infrared Saturn © László Francsics (Hungary) – WINNER

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