Announcing the 2021 New Zealand Astrophotography Competition for the Harry Williams Trophy.

The 2021 New Zealand Astrophotography Competition is now open for entries.

This year’s competition will be judged by Robert Gendler. Robert is arguably one of the top deep sky astrophotographers in the world, he specializes in images of deep sky objects with very long exposure times.

In September 2005, Astronomy Magazine cited his mosaic of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) as one of “the most beautiful astronomical images of the past thirty years.”

Robert also regularly collaborates with professional observatories including the Hubble Space Telescope. In 2013 and 2015 Gendler collaborated with the Hubble Heritage Team processing two Hubble Space Telescope releases (M106 in 2013 and M31 in 2015). M31 which Gendler assembled and processed (The Hubble data consisted of 7,398 exposures taken over 411 individual pointings and assembled by Gendler into a mosaic image) remains the largest Hubble image ever made. In 2019, Robert received the Royal Photographic Society Award for Scientific Imaging, with Honorary Fellowship.

Robert has also published five books.. A Year in the Life of the Universe: A Seasonal Guide to Viewing the Cosmos (Voyageur Press 2006), Capturing the Stars: Astrophotography by the Masters (Voyageur Press 2009), “Treasures of the Southern Sky” (Springer 2011), “Lessons from the Masters: Current Concepts in Astronomical Image Processing” (Springer 2013), Breakthrough! 100 Astronomical Images which Changed the World” (Springer, 2015). Robert’s most recent book “Breakthrough!” was selected as “Outstanding Academic Title” by “Choice” magazine, a periodical of the American Library Association (2016).

For more information on our judge please take a look at his work on his website here …

Deep sky, solar system, and terrestrial images, including equipment information, and helpful articles.

The competition has three main categories deep sky, nightscape and solar system, last year we introduced a new time-lapse category but this year we have decided to tweak the rules of this new category so make sure you read over the rules and conditions of entry before submitting your entries.

As in previous years the competition is sponsored by the Australian Sky & Telescope magazine, with a free 12 month subscription to their fine magazine to the winners of the nightscape and deep sky categories, as well as having their images printed in the magazine.

We are also lucky to be sponsored by Celestron Australia who are providing a $500 Celestron Australia Voucher to be spent on the Celestron Australia Website for the winner of the Deep Sky Category.

And sponsorship from Sky-Watcher Australia who are sponsoring the overall winner of the competition with a $500 NZD Sky-Watcher Australia Voucher to be spent on the Sky-Watcher Australia Website.

In addition to this fantastic prize the overall winner will have their name immortalized on the Harry Williams trophy for astrophotography excellence. (Trophy to be returned prior to the 2021 competition)

Astronz are sponsoring the Solar System category with a $300 Astronz gift voucher, Astronz is easily New Zealand’s best known and most trusted supplier of Astronomical equipment.

The Auckland Astronomical Society will also provide a cash prize for each category winner.

The competition cutoff date is the 21st of September and the competition awards will be announced at the annual Burbidge dinner which is the Auckland Astronomical Society’s premier annual event, keep an eye out on the society website for details on the forthcoming Burbidge dinner.

Looking forward to seeing all your images and wishing you all clear skies.

The “Conditions of Entry” and “Entry Form” can be downloaded at the links below:

Conditions of Entry

Entry Form