Deadline apporaching for astrophotography competition entries

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galway daily news dias astrophotography competition leo varadkar
Pictured at DIAS Dunsink Observatory in last year were Tánaiste Leo Varadkar; Dr. Eucharia Meehan, CEO and Registrar of DIAS; and Professor Peter Gallagher, Head of Astrophysics at DIAS.

The deadline is approaching for entries to the ‘Reach for the Stars’ astrophotography competition, organised by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS).

The competition is looking for the best astro-photographs taken in Ireland from 1 April 2021 to 30 April 2022.

Photography and astronomy fans from Galway must submit their images before the final closing date for entries on Saturday, 30 April 2022.

Speaking about the upcoming deadline, Dr Eucharia Meehan, CEO and Registrar of DIAS said, said that the competition is all about encouraging people to look up, and appreciate the wonder and beauty of space.

“You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take part, you don’t need to own a telescope – we just ask that you follow the competition guidelines carefully to ensure your images meet the criteria,” said Dr Meehan.

“I would really encourage people in Galway to get out with their cameras or phones over the next week, before the closing date.

“There are a number of exciting opportunities for people to capture quality images in the coming weeks, including a meteor shower due to peak at the end of this week.”

Competition Details

Entries to the ‘Reach for the Stars’ competition will be judged by Professor Peter Gallagher, Head of Astrophysics at DIAS, along with Brenda Fitzsimons, Picture Editor of The Irish Times; John Flannery, Vice-President of the Irish Astronomical Society; and Niamh Breathnach, Director at Alice PR & Events.

The competition has two categories and entrants may submit up to two images in each of the following categories:

  1. Out of this World: Images depicting scenes / features or elements of astronomical interest. For example, deep space images or images of the solar system.
  2. Back on Earth: Astro-landscape images that depict a feature or element of astronomical interest and capture elements such as nature, cityscapes, buildings or monuments, land, or water.

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Saturday, 30 April.

Prize Package

The winning photographers in the two main categories, as selected by the judging panel, will receive a prize package that includes:

  • Publication of their images on the DIAS and Irish Times websites;
  • A VIP tour of DIAS Dunsink Observatory – with the opportunity to peer through Ireland’s largest refractor telescope.
  • One pass for up to four guests for ‘Race to Space’, a fully immersive escape room experience, hosted at DIAS Dunsink Observatory.
  • A €500 voucher for photographic / telescopic equipment; and
  • A 12-month Premium Digital subscription to The Irish Times.

Two runners-up in each category will also be selected by the judges, and will each receive a €200 voucher for photographic / telescopic equipment. The winner of the Public Choice category, as voted for by the public, will also receive voucher to the value of €150 for photographic / telescopic equipment.

“The standard of entries to the competition so far has been really encouraging – and it’s great to see so many people from across the country showing an interest in astronomy,” added Dr Meehan.

“DIAS is a leader in space research, and it’s important that while we continue to build on this legacy, we inspire, excite, and inform the wider public about astronomy and encourage them to develop an interest in space.

“The Reach for the Stars competition has given us an opportunity to do this, and it’s fantastic to see people from all corners of Ireland taking part.”