17 May 2022

Last call for Carlow photographers to 'Reach for the Stars'

Last call for Carlow photographers to 'Reach for the Stars'

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

It’s the final call for entries to the ‘Reach for the Stars’ astrophotography competition, organised by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS).

The competition, seeking the best astro-photographs taken in Ireland over the period April 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022, is calling on photography and astronomy fans from Carlow to submit their images before the final closing date for entries on Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Commenting on the approaching deadline, Dr. Eucharia Meehan, CEO and Registrar of DIAS said, said:

“Now in its second year, the Reach for the Stars 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.

“I would really encourage people in Carlow 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: 

  • Out of this World: Images depicting scenes / features or elements of astronomical interest. For example, deep space images or images of the solar system.
  • 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, April 30.

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.

This year DIAS marks the 75th anniversary of the School of Cosmic Physics. As part of the celebrations to mark the anniversary, a special spot prize will be awarded to a photograph that is entered into the competition that depicts the work of one or more of the research areas carried out at the School.

The winner of the 75th anniversary of the School of Cosmic Physics prize will receive a voucher to the value of €150.

It is DIAS’s intention that the winning and highly commended images will also be included in an exhibition at DIAS during 2022. 

Furthermore, all shortlisted images will be included in an online exhibition – for the purposes of the public vote – on the competition’s website

Entries received to date

Commenting further, Dr. Eucharia Meehan said: “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.

“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.”

DIAS’s ‘Reach for the Stars’ competition is being run in partnership with The Irish Times, and is sponsored by Alice PR & Events. The Irish Astronomical Society are initiative supporters.

Further information, including the competition guidelines and entry form, is available at

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