We are pleased to announce that after a brief hiatus, the Cloudy Nights Imaging/Sketching contest is up and running again.
Over the years, we’ve noticed we have exceptional talent in our forums, and we’ve decided that we would like to show it off. Each month our readers will choose an overall winner, and that winning image or sketch will be displayed on the front page of the Cloudy Nights website until a new winner is chosen.
How to enter
Please visit our forums and submit an image/sketch in the appropriate forum, each forum will have a "sticky" thread called "Imaging Contest Submissions". Images may be submitted to the contest threads in the following forums:
Each month, images or sketches (as applicable to the forum) will be submitted in each forum for users to vote on. The winners from each forum's semi-final poll will be entered in a site-wide poll for our users to determine which image or sketch is the best of the group.
Moderators are listed by the forum name, and additionally their name or handle appears in green. Please contact them if you have any questions. Contest rules are subject to change without notice.
Contest Rules (revised 8/2016)
1. Images submitted in a particular forum must reflect the focus of that particular forum.
• Entries in the DSLR forum must be images captured with a Digital SLR or digital camera
• Entries in the CCD forum must have been captured with a dedicated astronomical CCD camera
• Entries in the Film Astrophotography forum must have been captured with a film camera
• Entries in the Solar System forum must be of objects contained within our solar system
• Entries in the Sketching forum must be an image of a sketch
• Entries in the Beginning and Intermediate Imaging can be of any astronomical subject as long as they are captured with a camera of some sort and do not violate any other rules.
2. In order to provide a level playing field and to encourage participation by novice imagers, entrants in the Beginning and Intermediate Imaging forum who win the semi-finals poll in the CN Imaging Contest a total of three (3) times - or who win in the finals regardless of the number of times they have won the semifinals - will have demonstrated sufficient proficiency at astrophotography to no longer be considered a "beginning or intermediate imager". Such an imager will be considered to be a "graduate" of the Beginning and Intermediate Imaging Forum, and are encouraged to compete in the other imaging or sketching forums. The exception to this rule will be in the case of an entrant who wins the semi-finals poll in Beginning and Intermediate Imaging as an uncontested entrant. An uncontested winner in the semi-finals will not have their win count toward their "graduation" as a beginning imager unless they also win the overall contest.
3. Entrants may submit an image for consideration in only one forum participating in the CN Imaging Contest. Entrants submitting images in more than one forum must choose a single forum to enter in or else all submissions from the entrant will be disqualified at the time of the creation of the semi-finals polls.
4. All entries must be captured within the same season as the contest. For example, if the subject was Orion Nebula, then any photo captured during this particular winter (or period that it was visible) would qualify for the contest. The name of the object must be included in the submission.
5. Please include the equipment used to take the image. Scope/Mount/Camera (or sketch media)/Focal reducers/Barlows...whatever, as well as your name, the time / date and your location.
6. Entries must conform in all respects with the site wide image posting requirements. Entries that do not meet these criteria will be disqualified at the time of the semi-final poll creation. It is the contestant's responsibility to ensure compliance with these requirements - although a moderator or administrator may alert a contestant to a possible problem in this area, they are not bound to do so.
7. Please do not post comments in the entries thread it’s just for these wonderful images you all will be submitting.
8. You must be the owner or co-owner and sole operator of the equipment used to create the image/sketch. Doesn't matter what it is. 20" RC, ETX70, 2" Tasco or an 8" TMB. No images from club owned equipment will be allowed. No pay by the hour rent-a-scope images will be allowed.
9. Entries must represent the work of a single individual. You must setup and operate all equipment yourself, capture all exposures (or perform any sketching) yourself and process the resulting entry yourself. An exception to the set up requirement is granted if the participant is physically incapable of setting up their equipment due to disability.
10. A given user can only win in the finals once every 3 months.
11. Deadline for submissions will be midnight at the end of the month. Semi-Finals (forum) voting takes place from the 5th through the 8th the following month. The winners will move on to the finalist poll, which will be posted in the Astro Imaging/Sketching Contest forum no later than the 10th, and the finalist voting takes place from the 10th through the 15th. Finally, the winners image will be posted to the front page of the site as soon as possible after the conclusion of the poll.