European Southern Observatory Catch A Star Contest

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European Southern Observatory Catch A Star Contest

Catch a Star is a contest that has been held as a result of the collaboration between the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) and European Southern Observatory (ESO). This is a European astronomical writing contest open to school students from around the world.

The idea of the Catch a Star program is to encourage students to work together, to learn about astronomy and discover things for themselves by researching information on an astronomical object.

The goal of the Contest is to stimulate the creativity and independent work of students from European secondary schools, to strengthen and expand their astronomical knowledge and skills, and to help the spread of information technologies in the educational process.

Who May Eligible:

To eligible, the candidates must be following all the eligibility criteria:

  • School students from around the world are invited to take part in the 2018 Catch a Star contest.
  • Members of the families of EAAE jury cannot take part in the Catch a Star competition.
  • Requirements for the participants:
    • Form a group of a maximum of 4 participants – a leader and at most three school students
    • The leader has to be a teacher, an extracurricular activity organizer etc., but not a student
    • Choose an astronomical object or event, about which you would collect information and prepare a project.

How to Apply & Competitions Rules:

To participate, students should submit a written report on an astronomical topic of their own choice — for example, an astronomical object, phenomenon, observation, scientific problem or theory.

All submission must be emailed as a PDF file to


  • Reports must be written in English and be no more than 5000 words in length.
  • Write a report about an astronomical topic of your own choice (this could be a specific astronomical object, phenomenon, observation, scientific problem, theory, and so on).
  • You may also wish to include practical activities such as your own observations, or experiments.
  • Develop the Project PDF file;
  • Your report must be in English.
  • Do not use automatic translators such as “Babelfish”.
  • Include a bibliography listing references for the source documents and images you have used.
  • It is important that your project is your own work.
  • It is not enough just to copy text from other articles. This is why you should reference the sources you have used by citing them in a bibliography.
  • They encourage you to choose an original topic. Original projects will do better than, for example, several very similar projects from the same school class.
  • Write as clearly as possible. Pay attention to scientific accuracy, clear language, and good design of your document as a whole.
  • The project that you have developed needs to have a volume equivalent to ten standard typed pages (A4)
  • Recommendations for the topics: The projects on topics from the educational program can focus on:
    • Lessons-observations (carried out in real time or obtained from a virtual observatory)
    • An important part of each project is the creation of a practical activity.


  • First prize:
    • Mounted image 206: ALMA and the center of the Milky Way
    • 30 min remote observations with the 2m RCC Telescope by National Astronomical Observatory “Rozhen”, Bulgaria.
  • Second Prize:
    • Mounted image 174: Whirling Southern Star Trails over ALMA
    • 30 min remote observations with the 50/70 Schmidt telescope by National Astronomical Observatory “Rozhen”, Bulgaria.
  • Third prize:
    • Mounted image 178: A deep look at the strange galaxy Centaurus A
    • 30 min remote observations with the Cassegrain-telescope “Zeiss-600” by National Astronomical Observatory “Rozhen”, Bulgaria.
  • fourth place
    • Mounted image 174: Whirling Southern Star Trails over ALMA
    • A video-conference with a professional
  • Fifth place
    • Mounted image 173: The Stars Streak Overhead
    • A video-conference with a professional

Application Deadline:

The deadline for all entries is December 14th, 2018 at 17h00 Central European Time (CET).

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