The Royal Observatory Greenwich Astro-imaging Challenge

The Astronomy Photographer of the Year Competition

Organised and supported by the Royal Observatory Greenwich and now in its fifth year, the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and exhibition continues to showcase incredible images from amateur astrophotographers all around the world.

Secondary aims

One of the competition’s aims is to introduce people who have never taken part in astrophotography to the pleasure that can be found in capturing a moment from millions of years in the past.

The interactive

As part of this year’s competition, the Museum’s Design and Digital Media team have produced an interactive experience that allows visitors to select one of 9 popular astronomical targets and have an image of it emailed to them. The image will be taken by one of the Faulkes Telescopes.

Supporting our secondary aims

The email will explain to the visitor that the image was taken by a robotic telescope and will also give guidance on how the visitor can use the Blue (B), Green (known as V, for visible) and Red (R) filtered images to create their own beautiful colour images.

How FT users can help

In order to do this, we will need to have a new image captured for each of these targets every week, and that’s where you come in. By taking one or more of these images a week, you’ll be helping us here at the Royal Observatory Greenwich to spread the word about the joys of astrophotography and the fantastic work of the Faulkes Telescope Project.

List of targets 

The following is a list of the targets that we wish to image and the exposure time in seconds. All images require the 'Colour' option.


Object Type 


Best Visible

Exposure Time (seconds) 

M16 (Eagle Nebula)

Star-forming Region 


Before 13 UT 


M57 (Ring Nebula)

Planetary Nebula


Before 11 UT 


M1 (Crab Nebula)

Supernova Remnant


After 12 UT 


NGC 2808

Globular Cluster


After 16 UT 



Open Cluster


After 17 UT


M42 (Great Orion Nebula)

Star-forming Region 


After 16 UT (S)

After 13 UT (N) 


M33 (Triangulum Galaxy)

Spiral Galaxy 


All night 


NGC 5128 (Centaurus A)

Seyfert Galaxy 


Before 10 UT 


NGC 2070 (Tarantula Nebula)

H II Region 


After 14 UT