Seems like everyone's a photographer these days. Digital technology has put high-caliber photo equipment is in the hands of countless amateur enthusiasts. But astrophotography remains a bit more specialized. It takes a unique skill set and the right equipment to produce a stunning image of another planet or even another galaxy.
If you're among those dedicated to the art and science of astrophotography, now's your chance to see how your best work stacks up. The 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition is now accepting entries via a Flickr group.
The contest is hosted by the Royal Observatory Greenwich and Sky at Night magazine in the U.K. It's now in its fourth year. Entrants have until June to submit their work. A panel of astronomers, artists and science journalists then picks the winners.
Last year's grand prize went to Damian Peach of the U.K., who took a stunning shot of Jupiter and its moons Io and Ganymede through a 14-inch home telescope.
The competition has a number of subcategories, including an under-16 division. Details on the contest and winning photos from last year are at rmg.co.uk/astrophoto. Maybe you can be a shooting star.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]