South Downs opens its annual astrophotography competition

South Downs opens its annual astrophotography competition

The astrophotography competition returns for another year.

South Downs National Park is asking people to capture the wonders of the night sky in a photography competition.

The competition returns for its third year and this time entrants are in with a chance of winning up to £100.

The milkyway above the lights of Worthing and Brighton from Cissbury Ring (Image: Neil Jones)

As one of only 20 International Dark Sky Reserves, the National Park is one the best places to stargaze in the UK.

This year, there are two categories:

  • South Downs Dark Skyscapes
  • Nature At Night 

The runner-up prize in each category will be £75 and all submitted images must be taken within the South Downs National Park.

A selection of photos submitted in the contest will be shared throughout the National Park’s Dark Skies Festival next February.

The contest will be judged by Dan Oakley, a Lead Ranger for the National Park, Steve Broadbent, Chairman of Hampshire Astronomical Group, and Vanessa Rowlands, Chair of the National Park Authority.

A walker gazing in awe at the beauty of the star-studded sky at Seven Sisters. (Image: Pablo Rodriguez)

Dan said: “We’re into the season of longer nights and it’s the perfect time to go out and stargaze in the South Downs National Park.

“The National Park is actually one of the best places to stargaze in the world and it’s quite amazing when you consider how close we are to big cities such as London, Southampton, Portsmouth and Brighton.

“The standard of the competition has been terrific in the past and we’re looking forward to seeing what this year brings, whether you’re a seasoned astrophotographer or embracing the darkness for the first time! Good luck to all participants in the contest.”

The deadline for entries to the competition is midnight on Wednesday, January 11.