Competition Details

We are looking for the best astro-photographs taken in Ireland over the period 1st May 2022 to 1st May 2023.

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.

This year, we are calling for competition entries under two distinct categories:

  1. Out of this World: Images depicting scenes / features or elements of astronomical interest For example, deep space images or images of the solar system.
  2. Back on Earth: Astro-landscape images that depict a feature or element of astronomical interest AND capture elements such as nature, city-scapes, buildings or monuments, land, or water.

Entrants may submit up to two images per category 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 – in keeping with the guidance provided for the category under which you are submitting your entries.

All entries to the 2023 ‘Reach for the Stars’ competition will be screened by a shortlisting panel to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria. The shortlisted images in each category will then go forward for consideration by the judging panel and for an online public vote.

The Winners

Three prizes will be awarded in total this year:

  1. Winner of the ‘Out of this World’ category;
  2. Winner of the ‘Back on Earth’ category;
  3. Winner of the online public vote.

The judging panel also reserves the right to select runners-up in each competition category.

Please read the Terms & Conditions in full before entering.

Prize Package

The winning photographers in the two main categories 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 4 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 digital subscription to The Irish Times.

The winner of the public vote will receive a voucher to the value of €150.

Two runners up in each category will also be selected by the judges, and will each receive a €200 voucher for photographic / telescopic equipment.

It is DIAS’s intention that the winning and highly commended images will also be included in an exhibition at DIAS during 2023.

How to Enter?

  • Read the Terms & Conditions for full details on eligibility criteria.
  • Provide as much detail as possible about your entries so that the judges can fully understand what they are looking at, and how the picture came about.
  • Select the category you are entering your photo(s) in.
  • Complete the entry form with the required details for each photograph that you are entering (max. 2 photographs per category and you must complete individual entry details 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 Monday, 1st May 2023.



  • Prof Peter Gallagher

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

  • Michael McCreary

    Michael McCreary has been a keen amateur astronomy observer for many years. He is President of the Irish Astronomical Society and member of the I.A.S. astrophotography group and organiser of many astronomy events, including "Images of Starlight", public astronomy talks and sidewalk astronomy nights. His hobbies include repairing telescopes.

  • Niamh Breathnach

    Niamh Breathnach is a Director at Alice Public Relations. She has been with Alice since 2016, and has worked with DIAS on their communications and PR since 2017.

  • Brenda Fitzsimons

    Brenda Fitzsimons is the Picture Editor at leading Irish newspaper - The Irish Times. She was appointed editor at the Times in 2018, following a career there as a staff photographer. Her career as a staff photographer took her across the globe - covering conflicts and their aftermath in Afghanistan, Haiti, Libya, Laos, South Sudan and Myanmar. She has documented the lives of pregnant women in Sierra Leon to women living in the slums of Bangalore collecting human hair for European salons.


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