NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge for 2023

Once again, NASA is presenting its Astrophoto Challenge. It’ll run from January 2 to February 28, 2023. If you know your way around a computer and are skilled at image processing, this challenge might be for you. The targets of this year’s challenge are the Eagle Nebula with its iconic Pillars of Creation. NASA is providing participants datasets from the ground-based MicroObservatory Network, plus space-based missions including the a href=”” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Webb space telescope, Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and Herschel. Using these data sources, participants create their own version of the Eagle Nebula and Pillars of Creation to share with the world.

Find out how it works by visiting NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge page.

Again, the challenge runs from January 2, 2023, to February 28, 2023.

Check out the 2023 EarthSky lunar calendar. A unique and beautiful poster-sized calendar showing phases of the moon every night of the year. It makes a great New Years gift.

The Pillars of Creation

2023 Winter NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge

NASA’s announcement encouraging you to make your own image of the Pillars of Creation said:

Join NASA’s Universe of Learning for an exciting opportunity to use real astronomical data and tools to create your own images of the iconic Pillars of Creation and the broader Eagle Nebula in which they reside. Use your images to explore the impact of hot stars on the gas and dust that make up the pillars. Or just create an image that you think is beautiful. You can capture your own real-time telescope image using the MicroObservatory robotic telescope network. You can also work with an archival set of data files taken with multi-wavelength NASA, ESA, and CSA space telescope missions (Webb, Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and Herschel).

The NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge provides learners of all familiarity levels authentic experiences using real astrophysics data, including those from NASA space-based missions. Participants engage in the scientific practices of a scientist through accessible data tools and experiences while they create and share their composite images.

The NASA’s Astrophoto Challenges include instructions on how to turn the data into beautiful composite images with a simple and free web-based image processing tool used by professional astronomers. The JS9 image processing tool is widely used by the astronomical community to process and analyze the data from the world’s premiere research telescopes. NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge uses a version of this tool, JS9-4L, developed for learners.

The challenge also features a short video by professional astronomers. These subject matter experts provide science content knowledge of the Pillars of Creation and the broader Eagle Nebula as observed across the electromagnetic spectrum. Submit your creations to the challenges, and they may be highlighted as standout entries commented on by scientists.

Bottom line: You can join NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge for winter 2023. The target is the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation. Learn more here.

December 28, 2022

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Kelly Kizer Whitt

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