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Terms & Conditions for ‘Reach for the Stars’ Astrophotography Competition

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Terms and Conditions

Competition Organiser, Partners and Sponsors

  • The inaugural ‘Reach for the Stars’ astrophotography competition is being run by the Dublin Institute for Advance Studies (DIAS), as part of the programme of events to celebrate the Institute’s 80th anniversary in 2020 / 2021.
  • The competition media partner is The Irish Times.
  • The competition is being supported by the Irish Astronomical Society.
  • The competition is being sponsored by Alice PR & Events.

Submitting Images

  • By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to these competition terms and conditions and confirms that they are the sole copyright owner or representative of the image(s) being submitted.
  • By submitting an image or images to this competition, you confirm that:
    • The image has been taken and processed by you.
    • The image is your original work.
    • The image was taken on or during: 1st January 2020 to 31st March 2021.
    • You have written consent from any individuals identifiable in the image.
    • The image was taken in Ireland.
    • The image has not previously been published by a news agency, media outlet or picture agency. This includes images published in print and online outlets (excluding personal social media usage).
    • The image has not been published in relation to other competitions.
    • The image does not have a watermark, name or copyright line featured anywhere; and your name is not featured anywhere in the caption.
  • Digitally modified images are eligible for entry, provided that all elements of the photograph were shot in the same location without moving the camera off the tripod. Techniques such as exposure blending, stacking and tracking are permitted; however composites of different photos in different locations are not. The judging panel may ask about your processing method and may also request the original image file(s). Please provide as much detail as possible about digital enhancements and composites in your initial entry form.
  • Photos taken both during daytime and at night are eligible for entry.
  • Images should be submitted as high-res JPEG or TIFF files, with each image sized at a minimum of 2MB and a maximum of 5MB.
  • By entering the competition, you hereby grant DIAS and the competition partners permission to use your image(s) for the promotion of the competition in media outlets (printed and online); on social media; in DIAS publications related to the competition; and in future DIAS events, including – but not limited to – any exhibition(s) pertaining to this competition.
  • When an image is submitted and entry finalised, the entry cannot be changed or edited.
  • An individual entrant may submit a maximum of 3 photographs for this competition. You must complete a separate entry form for each photograph you submit.
  • Entry to the competition shall be deemed full and unconditional acceptance of the terms and conditions, and DIAS reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions.

Judging Process

  • Competition entries will be judged by a panel of judges appointed by DIAS.
  • The judges will come from a range of disciplines, including astronomy and photography.
  • Entries will be judged using pre-defined criteria, which will include: technical skills, artistic flair, astronomical understanding, and originality.
  • Should the quality of entries fall below the standard required, the judges reserve the right not to select a winner.
  • There are no categories for this competition. It is intended to have an overall winner and one or more runners-up, selected by the judging panel, as well as a ‘public choice’ winner, selected through an online public vote.
  • The judges’ decision is final and binding in all matters and no correspondence will be entered into.


  • If your entry is shortlisted, we will contact you in April 2021 via the contact details you have provided. The competition judges may require additional information (including original image files), and you may be asked additional questions about your image during the judging process.
  • A press release announcement will be made about the shortlisted entries. All entrants that have been shortlisted must not publicise this news until the press release has been issued.


The overall winner of the competition will receive the following prize:

  • Publication of their images on the DIAS and Irish Times websites;
  • A VIP tour of DIAS’s Dunsink Observatory – with the opportunity to use some of the specialised astronomical equipment housed there;
  • 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.