Make Your Own Image of the Pillars of Creation with NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge!

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Closing Date February 28, 2023 Status
NASA's Astrophoto Challenges Winter 2023 Pillars of Creation


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.

Join the NASA's Astrophoto Challenges, here:  The challenges are open from January 2, 2023 through February 28, 2023. Learn more by watching this video.
You can also learn more about other opportunities to discover the universe for yourselves at NASA's Universe of Learning:

Anyone may participate, all that is needed is an email address to receive any images taken with the MicroObservatory robotic telescopes. Participants 12 or younger will need to have a parent/guardian do the activity with them.

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