ann23014 — Announcement

The Pillar of Creation
27 April 2023
IAU Office of Astronomy for Education Launches Third Astrophotography Contest

The IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) is pleased to announce its third educational astrophotography contest. Astronomy is a powerful ‘gateway science’, and astronomical images are a valuable teaching tool. For optimal impact, images need to be accessible as open educational resources. The first and second times this contest was held it was a great success, and the OAE aims to increase its foundational collection of high-quality educational resources under free licence, while supporting and recognising the work of those who contribute to it.

Are you an astrophotography enthusiast who values astronomy education? If so, this contest is for you, whether you are an experienced amateur astronomer or a beginner in this field. Participants can submit images in the following categories: phases of Venus, day arcs of the Sun and solargraphs, sunrise and sunset location over the year, and images of any astronomical object taken exclusively with smartphones/mobile devices. Time-lapse videos can be submitted in the category Rotation of Big Dipper or Southern Cross. 

Entries must be submitted by the deadline of 30 June 2023 at noon CET. Submissions will be evaluated by an international panel of astrophotographers and astronomy educators, who will consider not only the aesthetic and technical qualities of the images, but also the educational value of each entry in the context of primary and secondary school teaching. 

The winning participants will receive cash prizes and their images will be made available as Open Educational Resources for teachers and learners worldwide. There will be six winning entries in the category Still images with smartphones, which will be awarded €100 each. There will be three winning entries in each of the other categories. In these categories, cash prizes of €750, €500 and €250 will be awarded for the first-, second-, and third-place entries respectively.

All winning entries will be published in the OAE’s astronomy education resources collection and the IAU Image Archive under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 International Licence (note that the photographers will still retain the copyright to their images). Moreover, participants are encouraged to allow us to publish their images and videos under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 licence even if they don’t receive a prize, as long as the images and videos are considered by the jury to be of high educational value.

The OAE is running this contest jointly with the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) and, once again, with OAE Center Italy as co-sponsors. In accordance with its motto "astronomy for everyone", the OAO will host an e-exhibit and gala for the winners and entrants who receive honourable mentions in the smartphone astrophotography category, which the OAO is sponsoring. The date of this event will be announced as the evaluation of submissions is coming to a close.

For more information about the contest rules and the submission process, please visit the contest webpage.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.

The IAU Office of Astronomy for Education is hosted at Haus der Astronomie (HdA), managed by the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy. The OAE’s mission is to support and coordinate astronomy education by astronomy researchers and educators, aimed at primary or secondary schools worldwide. HdA’s hosting the OAE was made possible through the support of the German foundations the Klaus Tschira Foundation and the Carl Zeiss Foundation.

The OAE is supported by a growing network of OAE Centers and OAE Nodes, collaborating to lead global projects developed within the network. The OAE Centers and Nodes are: the OAE Center China–Nanjing, hosted by the Beijing Planetarium (BJP); the OAE Center Cyprus, hosted by Cyprus Space Exploration Organization (CSEO); the OAE Center Egypt, hosted by the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG); the OAE Center India, hosted by the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA); the OAE Center Italy, hosted by the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF); the OAE Node Republic of Korea, hosted by the Korean Astronomical Society (KAS); OAE Node France at CY Cergy Paris University hosted by CY Cergy Paris University; and the OAE Node Nepal, hosted by the Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO).



Eduardo Monfardini Penteado
Coordinator, OAE

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Director of Communications
Cell: +1 520 461 0433/+49 173 38 72 621

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