Astrophotography contest of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education

January 22, 2021

One of the main goals of the Office of Astronomy for Education of the International Astronomical Union is to provide basic astronomy education ressources that are free to use for everyone. Thus an astrophotography contest with cash prizes in image categories where currently not many high-quality images are available under Creative Commons licenses has been established. Submission deadline is 15 April 2021.

Are you an astrophotographer – and keen on supporting astronomy education? Then this contest is for you: The Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) will run an astrophotography contest until 15 April 2021. Besides receiving cash prizes, the winning images will be made available as Open Educational Resources (OER) for teachers and learners world-wide.

Astronomy education is a powerful tool to teach students about the place of our planet, and ourselves, in the universe – and a gateway science to the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). One of the OAE’s goals is to provide astronomy educators worldwide with a basic collection of high quality educational resources. While many useful images are already available for public use, we have identified a number of astronomy-related themes where we think educators could use support.

Participants can submit images in the following categories: star trails, meteor showers, comets, total lunar eclipses, light pollution, aurorae (still images and time-lapses), wide star fields, Sun/Moon haloes, and time-lapses of Galilean moons orbiting around Jupiter. Submissions will be evaluated by an international panel of astrophotographers and astronomy educators. Apart from aesthetic and technical criteria, the jury will carefully consider the educational value of each entry in the context of primary and secondary school teaching.

There will be three winning entries for each category, which will be awarded with cash prizes of 750, 500 and 250 Euros for the first, second, and third prizes, respectively. All winning entries will be published in the OAE’s astronomy education resources collection under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 International Licence. (The authors will retain the copyright to their images.)

For more information about the competition rules and the submission process, please check the competition webpage.

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