French photographer Nicolas Lefaudeux has been named the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020, winning £10,000 top prize alongside the prestigious title. His winning image (below) was taken in France and shows a version of the Andromeda Galaxy. “To most of us, our closest neighbouring galaxy Andromeda can also feel so distanced and out of reach,” said competition judge Ed Robinson. “Yet to create a photograph that gives us the impression that it is just within our physical reach is truly magical, and somewhat appropriate as we adjust after such socially distanced times.”

“The global situation made judging and shortlisting extremely challenging this year, particularly with judges spread across different countries,” said another judge Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder, Astronomer at Royal Museums Greenwich. “However, the photographs have exceeded our expectations and the innovation demonstrated by the entrants has been phenomenal.”

Now in its twelfth year, this year’s competition received over 5,000 entries from six continents. Winners, runners-up, highly commended and shortlisted images will be showcased in the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, opening to the public from 23 October 2020 with tickets on sale from 14 September 2020.

The competition’s official book, available at Royal Museums Greenwich shops and online from 11 September, goes on sale across all bookstores from 17 September. Find out more about the competition here.

Full list of winners


* Nicolas Lefaudeux (France) with Andromeda Galaxy at Arm’s Length? (Winner and Overall Winner)

* Mark Hanson (USA) with NGC 3628 with 300,000 Light Year Long Tail (Runner-Up)

* Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mateos (Spain) with Attack on the Large Magellanic Cloud (Highly Commended)


* Nicholas Roemmelt (Germany) with The Green Lady (Winner)

* Tom Archer (UK) with Lone Tree under a Scandinavian Aurora (Runner-Up)

* Kristina Makeeva (Russia) with Iceland (Highly Commended)

Our Moon

* Alain Paillou (France) with Tycho Crater Region with Colours (Winner)

* Ethan Roberts (UK) with HDR Partial Lunar Eclipse with Clouds (Runner-Up)

* Daniel Koszela (Poland) with Moon Base (Highly Commended)

Our Sun

* Alexandra Hart (UK) with Liquid Sunshine (Winner)

* Filip Ogorzelski Poland) with 145 Seconds of Darkness (Runner-Up)

* Alan Friedman (USA) with Ultraviolet (Highly Commended)

People and Space

* Rafael Schmall (Hungary) with The Prison of Technology (Winner)

* Tian Li (China) with Observe the Heart of the Galaxy (Runner-Up)

* Yang Sutie (China) with AZURE Vapor Tracers (Highly Commended)

Planets, Comets and Asteroids

* Lukasz Sujka (Poland) with Space Between Us… (Winner)

* Martin Lewis (UK) with In the Outer Reaches (Runner-Up)

* Robert Stephens (USA) with The Ghost of Alnilam and a Near Earth Asteroid (Highly Commended)


* Thomas Kast (Germany) with Painting the Sky (Winner)

* Stefan Liebermann (Germany) with Desert Magic (Runner- Up)

* Weijian Chen (China) with Voice of the Universe (Highly Commended)

Stars and Nebulae

* Peter Ward (Australia) with Cosmic Inferno (Winner)

* Connor Matherne (USA) with The Dolphin Jumping out of an Ocean of Gas (Runner-Up)

* Min Xie (USA) with The Misty Elephant’s Trunk (Highly Commended)

Young Category

* Alice Fock Hang (Réunion –  aged 10) with The Four Planets and the Moon (Winner)

* Thea Hutchinson (UK –  aged 13) with Detached Prominences (Runner-Up)

* Xiuquan Zhang (China –  aged 12) with Light Bridge in the Sky (Highly Commended)

* Winslow Barnwood (USA – aged 15) with Collision Course! (Highly Commended)

Special Prize: The Sir Patrick Moore prize for Best Newcomer

* Bence Toth (Hungary) with Waves (Winner)

Special Prize: Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation

* Julie F Hill (UK) with Dark River (Winner)

Further reading

How to photograph aurorae, star trails and the moon

The night sky: how to photograph stars

Photographing star trails