Night sky photography competition due to close soon

Final push for submissions to Reach for the Stars, which closes to entries on April 2nd

Whether it be a supermoon, an orbiting planet or just a simple sunset, night sky enthusiasts are being challenged to capture the best image of the heavens.

The Reach for the Stars photography competition, organised by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and part-judged by The Irish Times, will close soon.

Its mission is simple – capture the best astro-photograph in Ireland between January 1st, 2020, and March 31st, 2021.

"There are a number of exciting opportunities for people to capture quality images in the coming weeks, before the closing date – Mars is still visible in the evening sky, while Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn occupy the morning sky," said Prof Peter Gallagher, head of DIAS astrophysics, in one final push for entries.


A supermoon on March 28th, the fourth-brightest of the 12 full moons occurring this year, may also persuade some to dust off their cameras or take a stroll with their smartphones.

Entrants, who must be over 18 and can submit up to three images taken on the island of Ireland. With the closing date for entries on April 2nd, the competition will be judged by a panel of experts including Irish Times picture editor Brenda Fitzsimons.

The winner will see their work reproduced on both the DIAS and Irish Times websites, and receive a VIP tour of DIAS Dunsink Observatory, where they will have the opportunity to peer through Ireland’s largest refractor telescope. The prize also includes a €500 voucher for photographic or telescopic equipment and a 12-month premium digital subscription to The Irish Times.