2021 marks the worldwide competition's thirteenth year in existence. Despite the pandemic, a stunning 4,500-plus photos were submitted from seventy-five countries across the globe.
In 2009, Martin Pugh became the competition’s first winner with The Horsehead Nebula. Since then, he has been widely published across a variety of platforms and won countless other awards including fifty-five NASA Astronomy Pictures of the Day. A photograph of his making was even used to create special effects in the film Interstellar, which won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
Interestingly, Pugh got into astrophotography as a hobbyist initially, purchasing his first telescope and specialist camera in 1999. Perhaps even more fascinating, the hobbyist entry seems to be somewhat of a trend in the astrophotography world, as though the beauty and intrigue of space effortlessly draws all kinds of people in. And of course, RMG’s competition is a great opportunity to propel such photographers to new heights.