Astrophotography contest 2023

The IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) is pleased to announce its third educational astrophotography contest. Astronomy is a powerful ‘gateway science’, and astronomical images are a valuable teaching tool. For optimal impact, images need to be accessible as open educational resources. The first and second times this contest was held it was a great success, and the OAE aims to increase its foundational collection of high-quality educational resources under free licence, while supporting and recognising the work of those who contribute to it.

Are you an astrophotography enthusiast who values astronomy education? If so, this contest is for you, whether you are an experienced amateur astronomer or a beginner in this field. Participants can submit images in the following categories: phases of Venus, day arcs of the Sun and solargraphs, sunrise and sunset location over the year, and images of any astronomical object taken exclusively with smartphones/mobile devices. Time-lapse videos can be submitted in the category Rotation of Big Dipper or Southern Cross.

Entries must be submitted by the deadline of 30 June 2023 at noon CET. Submissions will be evaluated by an international panel of astrophotographers and astronomy educators, who will consider not only the aesthetic and technical qualities of the images, but also the educational value of each entry in the context of primary and secondary school teaching.

The winning participants will receive cash prizes and their images will be made available as Open Educational Resources for teachers and learners worldwide. There will be six winning entries in the category Still images with smartphones, which will be awarded €100 each. There will be three winning entries in each of the other categories. In these categories, cash prizes of €750, €500 and €250 will be awarded for the first-, second-, and third-place entries respectively.

All winning entries will be published in the OAE’s astronomy education resources collection and the IAU Image Archive under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 International Licence (note that the photographers will still retain the copyright to their images). Moreover, participants are encouraged to allow us to publish their images and videos under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 licence even if they don’t receive a prize, as long as the images and videos are considered by the jury to be of high educational value.

The OAE is running this contest jointly with the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) and, once again, with OAE Center Italy as co-sponsors. In accordance with its motto "astronomy for everyone", the OAO will host an e-exhibit and gala for the winners and entrants who receive honourable mentions in the smartphone astrophotography category, which the OAO is sponsoring. The date of this event will be announced as the evaluation of submissions is coming to a close.

Before submitting your entries, please read carefully the rules of the competition.

You can submit your photos and videos through this form.

For any queries regarding the competition, please contact astrophoto​atastro4edu.org

Results from the astrophotography contest 2021 and 2022 editions can be found here and here, respectively.


  • Abd El Fady Morcos (National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, Egypt)
  • Bum-Suk Yeom (Jeollabukdo Office of Education Institute of Science, South Korea)
  • Elisa Di Carlo (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy)
  • Haritina Mogosanu (New Zealand Astrobiology Network, New Zealand)
  • Licia Troisi (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy)
  • Livia Giacomini (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy)
  • Manisha Dwa (Nepal Astronomical Society, Nepal)
  • Sten Odenwald (NASA Space Science Education Consortium , USA)
  • Susanne Hoffmann (Michael Stifel Center for Data Driven Science of the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany)
  • Vladimir Krzalic (Astrophotographer and Analytical Instruments Service Engineer, Serbia)
  • Yuri Beletsky (Astronomer at Carnegie Las Campanas observatory, Chile)
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