Competition launched for best astro-photographs taken in Ireland

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The organisers of the The Reach for the Stars competition which launched this week are looking for the best astro-photographs taken in Ireland between 1 January 2020 to 31st March 2021.

The winner will receive a €500 voucher for photographic or telescopic equipment, the publication of their images on the DIAS and Irish Times websites and a VIP tour of DIAS Dunsink Observatory, which includes the chance to peer through Ireland’s largest telescope.

Professor Peter Gallagher, Head of DIAS Astrophysics, who launched the competition on Wednesday, said: “We all love looking up at the night sky and admiring how spectacular it can be. With recent advances in cameras and indeed in phone cameras, astrophotography has grown in popularity in recent years.”

“2020 has been a great year for astronomy fans, featuring supermoons, sunspots appearing for the first time in years, and soon, Jupiter and Saturn coming together in the evening sky on the winter solstice.”

He added that people across the country are capturing breath-taking images of such events and that entrants do not need to be astronomy or photography professionals.

“Anyone with an interest in astronomy and photography – whether as a hobby, a burning passion or a fulltime career – can enter.

“Our only stipulations are that entrants must be over 18; they must have taken their photograph on the island of Ireland during the time period specified; and – obviously – their photograph must depict something of astronomical interest.”

Entrants may submit up to three images to the competition, and the deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday, 2nd April 2021.

Further information, including the competition guidelines and entry form, is available at https://dias.ie/reachforthestars .