Winners of Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 announced

11 September 2020

The Royal Observatory Greenwich has announced the results of its hugely popular, global photographic competition, a yearly contest to find the most beautiful and spectacular visions of the cosmos. The winners of Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 will be showcased in the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, opening to the public on 23 October 2020. ESO joined the competition in 2016 by contributing a judge and further spreading the word about the competition among its community. 

French photographer Nicolas Lefaudeux has outcompeted thousands of amateur and professional photographers from around the globe to win the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s title of Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020. 

Winning images in the other categories and special prizes include the breath-taking Aurora Borealis above Hamn i Senja, Skaland, in Norway by Nicholas Roemmelt (Germany); the image taken by Łukasz Sujka (Poland) showcases the alignment of our Moon and Jupiter, framed by three of Jupiter’s moons; a remarkable illustration of ‘The Prison of Technology’, the satellite trails between Earth and the Albireo double star, which photographer Rafael Schmall (Hungary) managed to capture; and Best Newcomer Bence Toth’s stunning image of the central region of the California Nebula. 

The captivating Dark River by Julie F. Hill (UK) has been named as the inaugural winner of the Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation.

After another phenomenal year of entries from our aspiring young astrophotographers in the Young Competition category, 10-year-old Alice Fock Hang (Réunion) takes home the top prize for her incredible image The Four Planets and the Moon, showing our moon, Venus, Mercury, the star Antares, Jupiter and Saturn over the Indian Ocean.

The prizewinners in all of the categories are:


  • 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

  • Łukasz 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)
  • Logan Nicholson (Australia –  aged 15) with The Carina Region (Highly Commended)
  • 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)

The overall winner will receive £10 000. Winners of all other categories and the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year will each receive £1500. There are also prizes for runners-up (£500) and highly commended (£250) entries. The Special Prize winners will each receive £750. All of the winning entries will receive a one year subscription to BBC Sky at Night Magazine.  

The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine. Now in its twelfth year, the competition received over 5000 entries from six continents.

More Information

ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It has 16 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile and with Australia as a Strategic Partner. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope and its world-leading Very Large Telescope Interferometer as well as two survey telescopes, VISTA working in the infrared and the visible-light VLT Survey Telescope. Also at Paranal ESO will host and operate the Cherenkov Telescope Array South, the world’s largest and most sensitive gamma-ray observatory. ESO is also a major partner in two facilities on Chajnantor, APEX and ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope, the ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”. 

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian and one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world. Since its founding in 1675, Greenwich has been at the centre of the measurement of time and space, and visitors today can still stand on the historic Prime Meridian line. The Observatory galleries and Peter Harrison Planetarium help unravel the extraordinary phenomena of time, space and astronomy. In 2018 the Royal Observatory acquired the Annie Maunder Astrographic Telescope (AMAT), the first new telescope to be installed in Greenwich in over 60 years, marking a new era for the world-famous site and restoring its status as a working Observatory.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is part of Royal Museums Greenwich which also incorporates the National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House and Cutty Sark. This unique collection of museums and heritage buildings, which forms a key part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcomes over two and a half million British and international visitors a year and is also a major centre of education and research. The mission of Royal Museums Greenwich is to enrich people’s understanding of the sea, the exploration of space, and Britain's role in world history. For more information visit

Insight Investment is a leading global investment manager, founded in 2002 and headquartered in London. Insight primarily manages money for pension schemes by providing liability-driven investment strategies and investing in fixed income and currency and multi-asset.

Insight takes responsible investment seriously. It was a founding signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and has been integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into decision-making processes for more than a decade. Insight’s approach is underpinned by the belief that ESG issues are important drivers of investment value. In 2019, Insight was awarded A+ ratings across most of the relevant categories in the PRI survey, a reflection of its ongoing commitment to integrating responsible investment practices across all aspects of its business.

More information about Insight Investment can be found at:

BBC Sky at Night Magazine is Britain's best-selling astronomy magazine, with a circulation of 17 385 copies a month. has 350 000 visits a month and reaches 57 000 social media followers through Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. The magazine is available on Apple Newsstand, Google Play and Zinio as well as in print, and is media partner of the annual Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. With writing from the world’s leading astronomers and science communicators, BBC Sky at Night Magazine complements one of the world's longest running TV programmes, BBC Four’s The Sky at Night, and is published by Immediate Media Co under licence from BBC Worldwide.



Georgina Sheehan
Press Officer
Royal Observatory Greenwich 
Tel: 020 8312 6790/6667 
Email: or

Oana Sandu
Community Coordinator & Communication Strategy Officer
ESO Department of Communication
Tel: +49 89 320 069 65

About the Announcement



Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year logo
Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year logo