Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies contact@dias.ie 00353 (0) 16140100

‘Reach for the Stars’ – DIAS’s Astrophotography Competition

The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies is delighted to invite entries for the inaugural ‘Reach for the Stars’ astrophotography competition.

We are looking for the best astro-photographs taken in Ireland over the period 1st January 2020 to 31st March 2021.

The competition is open to anyone with an interest in astronomy and photography, whether as a hobby, a burning passion or a fulltime career. You must be 18 years old or over to enter.

Entrants may submit up to three images to the competition. The images must:

  • Be the original work of the person submitting the entry;
  • Have been taken in Ireland during the specified period; and
  • Depict scenes / features / elements of astronomical interest.

Winning entries will be chosen by our prestigious judging panel, which includes:

  • Brenda Fitzsimons, Picture Editor, The Irish Times;
  • John Flannery, Vice-President, Irish Astronomical Society;
  • Peter Gallagher, Senior Professor and Head of Astronomy and Astrophysics at DIAS;
  • Martina Quinn, Founder and Managing Director, Alice PR & Events.

The winning photographer 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.
  • A €500 voucher for photographic / telescopic equipment; and
  • A 12-month Premium Digital subscription to The Irish Times.

It is DIAS’s intention that the winning and highly commended images will also be included in an exhibition at DIAS during 2021, if circumstances allow.

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

How to Enter

  • Read the terms and conditions for full details on eligibility criteria.
  • Complete the entry form with the required details for each photograph that you are entering (max. 3 photographs per person and you must complete an individual entry form for each photograph you submit).
  • Please ensure photo format is HIGH-RES JPEG (between 2MB and 5MB per file).
  • Your entry must be submitted by 5pm on Friday, 2nd April 2021.

Organising Committee

Dr Eoin Carley
Dr Eoin Carley is Schrödinger Research Fellow at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, currently working on observation of solar eruptions and flares using the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR).

Alberto Cañizares
Alberto Canizares is a PhD student of Solar Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and Trinity College Dublin. In 2019 Alberto was granted an award by the Irish Research Council to investigate Radio Bursts occurring in the Solar Corona using multiple instruments onboard different spacecraft as well as the LOFAR telescope. In his free time Alberto is a very passionate photographer having published some of his images in media such as RTE.ie , the Astronomy Ireland Magazine, Lonely Planet and others.

Niamh Breathnach
Niamh Breathnach is a Senior Account Manager at Alice PR & Events. She has been with Alice since 2016, and has worked with DIAS on their communications and PR since 2017.

Dr Richard Gow
Dr Richard Gow joined DIAS in July 2020 and is responsible for the implementation of a range of strategy initiatives at the institute, in addition to internal and external communications.

Meet the Judges

John Flannery
John Flannery is Vice-Chair of the Irish Astronomical Society and contributes a monthly sky diary column to The Irish Times. His main interests as an amateur astronomer are the sky lore of world cultures; binocular observing; and astronomical history.

Martina Quinn
Martina Quinn is the Founder and Managing Director of Alice PR and Events. She has over 15 years’ experience working in PR and communications and has wide-ranging experience of providing strategic communications support to organisations in the public, corporate, social justice and education sectors.

Prof Peter Gallagher
Professor Peter Gallagher is Head of DIAS Astrophysics and has spent the past two decades studying the Sun its impacts on the Earth. He is an expert in imaging the Sun using ground- and space-based telescopes.

Brenda Fitzsimons
Brenda Fitzsimons is photo editor of the Irish Times.

Press Coverage

Alberto Cañizares being interviewed by NEAR FM – 30 January 2021


16 December 2020 – The Irish Times: Photographers and astronomy lovers invited to ‘reach for the stars’