e-Light Pollution photo-exhibition

International Astronomical Union
The Inter-Division B-C Commission Protection of Existing and Potential Observatory Sites and Commission C1- Education and development of the Astronomy, and the Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO)  invite all countries and astronomers to send photos for

The first e-Light Pollution photo-exhibition, a satellite event within the XXX IAU General Assembly 2018

to showcase the impact of light pollution on astronomical sites



The International Astronomical Union (IAU) through its commissions

  • The Inter-Division B-C Commission Protection of Existing and Potential Observatory Sites
  • The Commission C1 - Education and Development of the Astronomy



We invite all countries and astronomers to contribute on raising the awareness on the serious environmental problem created by light pollution by creating and exhibiting a collection of photos of night-scapes of the world observatories sites, showing either (1) the beauty of the night sky at the site without light pollution or (2) how is the site affected by Light Pollution in this 1st e-LP exhibition.



This is the first edition of the Light Pollution (LP) exhibition, we plan to continue this exhibition in each IAU General Assembly (GA) with different themes. In this first edition, we start from the astronomical dimension of the problem - observatories.


This global perspective motivates us to work for a better, more peaceful planet for all the world’s inhabitants. The project aims to make global exposure during the GA. The resulting collection of night scape photography will be presented in a virtual exhibition during the GA 2018 and on the web. The sky is the common view that connects us across the world, creating understanding and friendship. When borders vanish, political and cultural differences become irrelevant. We all live under the same eternally peaceful sky.


The exhibition

The material will be published by the following methods:

  1. Photo exhibitions, slide shows and seminars in many different countries, with initial emphasis on countries that contributed to the collection.
  2. A virtual exhibition on the web.


The material collected serves as an aid to astronomy education and popularization resources to visualize and illustrate the impact of sky-gazing and visual astronomy by light pollution.


This e-exhibition will be available and used for free for educational non-commercial uses under the creative commons licenses (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) that with sole credit to the owner, photographer and the IAU.


Who can submit photos?


  1. Astronomical observatories (public or professional) please send us up to 3 photos taken in your astronomical site related to the theme below.
  2. IAU member and non-members please send us up to 3 photos. Please note that all photos submitted should be related to astronomical sites.


Photo Format

  1. The entries should be fresh (not old) images, taken since January 1st, 2018.
  2. They must be created showing both the Earth and the sky -- by combining elements of the night sky (e.g., stars, planets, the Moon or celestial events, animals etc) in the backdrop of a landscape were light pollution is part or not of the image.
  3. Astronomical sites could be public or professional observatories, or cultural heritages that link to astronomy.
  4. Composition - The entries are open to photo all techniques. Composite photo is allowed. The night sky is an essential part of our nature and nightscape imaging follows the rules of nature photography where presenting natural colors of nature is an important element of each photo. We encourage you to avoid over-cooked processing.


Exhibition Theme and Categories

The exhibition theme is “NIGHTSCAPES and sky, the loss of cultural human heritage” and has two categories

1. The amazing starry sky - either to impress people on how important and amazing the starry sky is;
2. Impact of light pollution - to impress people on how bad the problem of light pollution has become.

Both categories illustrate how light pollution affects our lives. Submissions can belong to either categories.


Submission Date

The submission begins from now and will end July 31st, 2018.


Submission Instructions


How to Submit
You can submit up to 3 images at http://bit.do/lp-exhibit

and filling in the necessary information

- A single-exposure image or a photo-composite
- Category of choice: ("The amazing starry sky" or "Impact of Light Pollution")
- Technical details:
- Credit of the photo
- Suggested title for the photo:
- Date the photo was taken (year/month/day):
- The astronomical site taken at/from the photo

- Location and country of the astronomical site

- Latitude and longitude of the astronomical site


Describe what appears in the photo and why it is a valuable contest entry:
- Web site(s) relating to the foreground subject (if any):

1- Size and format:
- Only photographs in digital format may be submitted. Photographs taken using film must be digitized for submission. - All entries must be accompanied by a short caption.
- Photographs must be submitted as high-quality JPEG files (level 10–12). The preferred color spaces are Adobe RGB (1998) and sRGB.
- Submitted photographs should be larger than 2000 pixels across in their wide dimension so that they can be used for exhibition (extremely long panoramic should also be considered for a high resolution submissions that allow digital exhibition worldwide). File size should be no larger than about 100 Megabytes.

- the photos will be available for download on the website, please taken this into consideration for the resolution of the photo you provided.

2- Number of submissions:
No more than 3 photographs may be submitted per person/institute

3- Date of Photographs and Submissions:
-. Images must be taken from January 1st 2018 to July 31st 2018

4- Style and subject of the photos:
- Entries must combine night-scape elements of both Earth and Night Sky—i.e., landscape astrophotography.

- Entries must follow the exhibition theme of dark skies importance with displaying the beauties of starry skies or the problem of increasing light pollution.
- A pair or a series of comparing images to display the difference between dark and light polluted sky can be submitted as one entry. The comparing images can make strong public impression on importance of dark skies.

- Photographs may be taken through a telescope, but must combine Earth and Sky composed in the same photograph. Photographs taken through a telescope that show only the sky are ineligible.

5- Copyright and legal notes:
- The entrant must be the copyright holder of the submitted photo.
- The Photographer retains complete copyright, but agrees to have his/her photograph published on exhibition website that allow people to download and on other online/print media in the reports about the exhibit.

- All the work will be licenses under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
- Submitted photographs must not contain provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit or otherwise objectionable content.


Margarita Metaxa (marmetaxa@gmail.com)
Constance Walker (cwalker@noao.edu)
Sze-leung Cheung (cheungszeleung@oao.iau.org)
Beatriz Garcia (beatriz.garcia@iteda.cnea.gov.ar)


NOTE:  The exhibition will be digital. For this reason, we are arranging with the IAU and GA organizers for an exhibition room/dome where to project the slide-show or present it on TV screens.