Try your hand at processing images from NASA's space telescopes, or capture and process your own!
Ever wanted to manipulate images taken by powerful telescopes yourself? NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge invites you to try out your image-processing skills in two ways: You may use the raw data from a space-based telescope or capture new telescope data (that night!) with the MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network. Next, you’ll use the JS9-4L tool to process the image. You’ll start with a grayscale image, just as NASA imaging specialists would, and then toggle the images from each telescope filter, trying to highlight the stars, gas, and dust clearly. Not sure how to start? We have resources to help you learn how to adjust scale, brightness and contrast, and then combine images from different filters to create full-color images. The final step? Submit your entry for review by professional astronomers. A few weeks after each contest ends, the top entries are posted to the NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge website. Below, you will find all the details to participate in an upcoming challenge or process images at your own pace, any time.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Even if there isn’t an active challenge, you can still work with NASA data from past challenges!
Use the JS9-4L tool to process your own image today.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Anyone! You only need an email address to receive any images you take with the MicroObservatory robotic telescopes. If you are 12 or younger, you will need to have your parent/guardian do this activity with you.
Look for a new challenge summer 2022 – or work with NASA data from past challenges! Head to the Challenges Archive of JS9-4L, where you will find NASA image files among the archived images for all of the past seasons.
By entering NASA's Astrophoto Challenges, you agree to allow Smithsonian and NASA's Universe of Learning to publish the images and information you provide in your submission form. We will only use this information to recognize your entry on our websites and social media.
You can still work with NASA data from past challenges! Head to the Challenges Archive of JS9-4L, where you will find NASA image files among the archived images for all of the past seasons.
EXPERIENCE NASA DATA
NASA’s Astrophoto Challenges help participants experience the universe for themselves! Along the way, they may experience the excitement of NASA astrophysics, understand science concepts, and observe and make sense of the universe.
LEARN FROM THE EXPERTS
Astronomers explore M87 at different wavelengths of light. All of the NASA images that the experts discuss are available for you to work with in the NASA Data Challenge. Find them in the Challenge Images menu of JS9-4L
Dr. Sera Markoff, Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam
Dr. Urmila Chadayammuri, Chandra X-Ray Center
Dr. Eileen Meyer, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
PAST STANDOUT ENTRIES
Want to see what others have done? Check out standout entries from past challenges!
Past Competitions can be found in our resource catalog.