Catch a Star!

... and discover all its secrets!

Introduction | Prizes | How to enter | Forms | Projects | Deadlines | FAQ | Legal

How to enter

Eligible participants | Registration | Subject of your contribution
General guidelines | Technical details | Further advice

The competition has now closed.

The entries for the drawing competition are now online.

The winners of the competition have been announced! You can find their list here.


Eligible participants

Category 1 Category 2 Category 3
A group of up to three pupils, older than 15 years, and one teacher. The pupils must attend primary or secondary school on November 1, 2005. Individual pupils or groups of pupils who attend primary or secondary school on November 1, 2005. Contributions by a whole class are also admissible. Individual pupils, up to 14 years of age, who attend primary or secondary school on November 1, 2005. Contributions by a whole class are also admissible.

This means that only pupils who have not yet terminated their school studies on November 1, 2005 can participate. No pupil may participate in more than one group.

Family members of ESO staff and of the International Jury members cannot participate in Category 1 of the contest.

Registration

Registration for categories 1 and 2 has now closed. The registration deadline was 15 December 2005.

Subject of your contribution

Category 1 Category 2 Category 3
Describe an astronomical project or activity of your own choice (this could be a specific astronomical object, phenomenon, observation, scientific problem, theory, etc.) and discuss how telescopes such as the ESO Very Large Telescope, the ALMA submm/mm telescope or the 100‑m OWL telescope might yield observations that would provide new insights into the specific subject of your choice. Describe an astronomical project or activity of your own choice (this could range from a specific astronomical object, observation, scientific problem, theory, to a description of a school activity, such as the organisation of an 'astronomy day' or observing camps for your class). A drawing of an astronomy related topic (astronomical objects, telescopes, etc.)

General guidelines for your contribution ( Categories 1 and 2 )

It is important that your contribution contains or presents original work, done by you. This means that it will not be enough just to copy texts from scientific articles. This is why you must mention the sources you have used by citing them in your report. You may use quotes from the articles, books, etc. that you read, but you must also arrive at your own conclusions and add your own ideas to the report. Try to make it interesting, clear and original!

A successful report is likely to include at least some of the following elements:

  • Text
  • Illustrations
  • A good description of your object, phenomenon or project, backed up by literature studies (books, journals, web-pages, historical documents etc.), with proper referencing
  • Discussion of possible observations that might be carried out with the ESO VLT, ALMA or 100-m OWL telescope and that might contribute to obtaining new knowledge about the subject that you have chosen (Requirement for Category 1 )

For example, you may try to find information about:

  • What was your object's past and what will be its future?
  • Its main characteristics, for instance its colour, temperature, chemical composition, etc.
  • How did the scientists obtain that information - which observations did they perform? How sure are they about what they say about the object?
  • Get images of your object - at least in one of these two possible ways:
    • By observing it with a telescope (could be either visually and making a drawing from what you see, with a photographic camera or with a CCD)
    • From an astronomical database (may be on the web, on a CD-ROM, in a book, etc.)

You may furthermore wish to

  • Make an observation with your own instrument and describe the method of such an observation, or create a practical activity that may be used in the school and which is based on some of the information that you have gathered. Perhaps your description or activity, or at least the idea behind it, may later be taken over at many other schools in the world!

and

  • Compare your object, phenomenon or project with another one of the same class (planet, moon, comet, star, galaxy, eclipses, etc.) and explain the differences and/or the similarities.

Technical details

Category 1 Category 2 Category 3

Your report should be written in English and submitted in HTML, so that it can later be shown on the web. It should not be longer than about 10 A4 pages when printed out.

  • Place all your files (texts, images) in one directory. The directory should only contain files that belong to your report.
  • Make sure that the HTML-syntax is in order and that all links work correctly. Links from the main HTML-file to your images and other files should be relative (e.g. "image1.jpg" ). Links to external URLs should be absolute (e.g. "http://www.eso.org/" ). This is important - otherwise your report may not be displayed correctly at the Catch a Star! website and the links may not work. [Note that no reports will be displayed before the prizes have been given.]
  • Create a ZIP archive of the directory. Please give the ZIP file a name that identifies the report.
  • Submit the ZIP file using the web form on the Catch a Star site. Be sure to keep to the deadline!
  • All reports will be printed and read by the jury. You must therefore make sure that they print well and are readable.

You will receive an email giving you instructions on how to upload your file, together with a username and password. If you have registered for this category and do not receive an email with your username and password, please contact eduinfo@eso.org. Go to the login page and enter your username and password. You will reach a page where you can upload your file.

Your report should include:

  • The logos of Catch a Star!, ESO and EAAE (click on these words to get the corresponding image files)
  • A summary ('abstract') of the report (half a page at most)
  • Your report with text and images
  • References for the individual images (where do they come from?)
  • Bibliography

You are requested to submit your contribution through the Web.

Your report should be written either in English (preferred) or in your own language, and submitted in HTML. An abstract in English must be provided in any case.

  • Place all your files (texts, images) in one directory. The directory should only contain files that belong to your report.
  • Make sure that the HTML-syntax is in order and that all links work correctly. Links from the main HTML-file to your images and other files should be relative (e.g. "image1.jpg" ). Links to external URLs should be absolute (e.g. "http://www.eso.org/" ). This is important - otherwise your report may not be displayed correctly at the Catch a Star! website and the links may not work. [Note that no reports will be displayed before the prizes have been given.]
  • Create a ZIP archive of the directory. Please give the ZIP file a name that identifies the report.
  • Submit the ZIP file using the web form on the Catch a Star site. Be sure to keep to the deadline!
  • All reports will be printed and read by the jury. You must therefore make sure that they print well and are readable.

You will receive an email giving you instructions on how to upload your file, together with a username and password. If you have registered for this category and do not receive an email with your username and password, please contact eduinfo@eso.org. Go to the login page and enter your username and password. You will reach a page where you can upload your file.

Your report should include:

  • The logos of Catch a Star!, ESO and EAAE (click on these words to get the corresponding image files)
  • A summary ('abstract') of the report (half a page at most) in English
  • Your report with text and images
  • References for the individual images (where do they come from?)
  • Bibliography

You are requested to submit your contribution through the Web.

Your drawing should preferably be submitted electronically, in JPEG or TIFF with a minimum size of 640 x 480 pixels. Alternatively, you may submit it in A4 or A3 format on suitable paper.

If you are entering electronically, fill in the submission form on the web. You will need to choose a username and password. Be sure to include information about:

  • your country
  • the name of the object/topic/telescope
  • Your name and age, and teacher if done in class
  • E-Mail address where you can be reached
  • Your name and postal address of your school
  • An adhesive address label completely and correctly filled in with your name and address (or of your school), if the drawing submitted is on paper.

You may submit your contribution through the Web or surface mail to:

ESO
PAD/Education Office
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
D-85748 Garching
Germany

You are invited to submit your drawings through the Web.

The CAS 2005 web site is at http://www.eso.org/public/outreach/eduoff/cas/cas2005/

Further advice

Please read carefully the instructions given on the 'Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)'. For electronic submissions (via the Web) it is recommended that the images be directly linked from the main file. The report should also be easily readable in printed form. Therefore, do not write text on a dark background.

Please notice that there is a firm deadline for submission of your report (see the deadlines page) and pay attention to it! Reports submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

Please contact eduinfo@eso.org, if you have any questions.

General assessment criteria ( Category 1 ):

  • Originality of the idea
  • Clarity of the presentation
  • Scientific accuracy