The ‘Reach for the Stars’ astrophotography competition is back and we’re delighted to be on board as sponsors for a second year. Run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), the competition, is now open for entries.

Reach for the Stars is seeking the best astro-photographs taken in Ireland over the period 1st April 2021 to 30th April 2022. If you have an interest in astronomy and photography – whether as a hobby, a burning passion or a fulltime career – this is the competition for you. The only stipulations are that:

  • Entrants must be over 18;
  • They must have taken their photograph on the island of Ireland during the time period specified; and
  • Their photograph must depict something of astronomical interest.

This year the competition will have 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, cityscapes, buildings or monuments, land, or water.

Our Account Director, Niamh Breathnach, will sit on the judging panel for the competition, alongside Professor Peter Gallagher, Head of DIAS Astrophysics; Brenda Fitzsimons, Picture Editor of The Irish Times; and John Flannery, Vice-President of the Irish Astronomical Society. Our Senior Account Executive, Sorcha Mac Mahon is also involved, sitting on the organising committee established to coordinate the competition.

Prize Package

Entrants may submit up to two images per category to the competition. The deadline for entries is 5pm on Saturday, 30th April.

The winning photographers in the two main categories, as selected by the judging panel, 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 four 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 Premium Digital subscription to The Irish Times.

Two runners up in each category will also be selected by the judges, and will each receive a €200 voucher for photographic / telescopic equipment. The winner of the Public Choice category, as voted for by the public, will also receive voucher to the value of €150 for photographic / telescopic equipment.

DIAS also intends to stage an exhibition of the winning and highly commended images during 2022. all shortlisted images will be included in an online exhibition – for the purposes of the public vote – on DIAS’s website,

Alice PR’s work with DIAS

Alice PR has provided communications support to DIAS for a number of years, and we love promoting the fascinating work underway at the Institute. In addition to its work on astrophysics, DIAS also works in the areas of Celtic Studies, Theoretical Physics, and Geophysics.

The ‘Reach for the Stars’ competition was launched in 2021 as part of DIAS80, a programme of events to commemorate 80 years since DIAS was established. The competition is being run in partnership with The Irish Times, and is supported by the Irish Astronomical Society. Alice PR is delighted to be involved as the competition sponsor.

Further information, including the competition guidelines and entry form, is available here.


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