Fourth Annual Radio Astronomy Image Contest

Sponsored by Associated Universities, Inc.

Deadline: September 3, 2008

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) invites submissions of astronomical images to its fourth annual Radio Astronomy Imaging Contest.

This contest is designed to increase the number of visually compelling, high-quality radio astronomy images available for a wide range of education and public outreach programs. Images submitted to this contest will be included in the NRAO Image Gallery for use by scientists, students, teachers, the general public, the media, and EPO professionals.

Birth and Death in the Milky Way

This panorama of a section of the Milky Way in the constellations of Scutum and Aquila illustrates the dynamic interplay between the birth and death of massive stars in our Galaxy. The image is a composite of a radio data acquired with the NRAO’s Very Large Array and mid-infrared observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Radio data shown in (red), mid-infrared (green), near-infrared composite (blue-white), and radio/infrared composite (yellow). Investigators: David Helfand (Columbia), Bob Becker (UC Davis), and Rick White (STScI).

The Prizes are sponsored by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) which will award a First Prize, a Second Prize, a Third Prize, and up to Nine Honorable Mentions consisting of:

First Prize: $1,000
Second Prize: $500
Third Prize: $250
Honorable Mentions: $100 each

The prizes will be awarded by a panel of scientists appointed by the NRAO that will include one scientist who is not a member of the Observatory’s staff. The panel membership will be made public when the contest results are announced. Those images judged by the panel to be the most visually compelling will be featured in the 2009 NRAO calendar and in posters.

Images submitted to the contest can display multi-wavelength emission that need not be confined to the radio frequencies although each image should contain and showcase radio emission observed with an NRAO telescope.

Contest participation requires submission of: (1) the information requested by the web-based form available on-line at, and (2) an image of acceptable size and format. The contest permits four image submission methods: anonymous ftp, web placement specifying the image’s on-line location in the submission form for NRAO’s retrieval, CD-ROM by U.S. Mail, or DVD-ROM by U.S. Mail.

Images must be submitted as RGB or CMYK files with an 8.5 x 11 inch minimum size and a density of at least 300 dpi (2550 x 3300 pixels). Larger images are welcome. An 18 by 24 inch (5400 x 7200 pixels) format, e.g., is suitable for posters and large displays. Acceptable formats are PostScript (.ps, .eps), TIFF (.tif), or JPEG (.jpg) files.

Contest image and on-line form submissions must be received at the NRAO by September 3, 2008. The decisions of the evaluating panel are final and will be made public by October 3, 2008. Winners will be notified directly by electronic mail, and the results will be announced in the NRAO Newsletter and in the NRAO web pages.

NRAO staff are not eligible to participate in this contest except for NRAO graduate and undergraduate student assistants and post-doctoral fellows.

Download the Image Contest Flyer [PDF, 369 KB]

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