How to enter

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Here are instructions for entering the competition. Please also check our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
If you have any other questions about the competition, or problems with the forms, please email eduinfo@eso.org.


Who can enter the competition?

  • This competition is open to students worldwide, who are still in primary or secondary school on 29 February 2008.
  • Catch a Star Researchers is open to groups of up to 3 students, plus one teacher. To be eligible for the travel prizes, teams must be from Europe or Chile, and all students must be at least 15 years old on 29 February 2008.
  • Catch a Star Adventurers and Catch a Star Artists are open to individuals or groups of students.
  • Students may only enter one of the competitions. No student may take part in more than one group for Catch a Star Researchers and Catch a Star Adventurers (but students may submit multiple entries for Catch a Star Artists).
  • Members of the families of ESO staff and of the jury may not take part in Catch a Star Researchers.

What do I need to do?

Catch a Star Researchers

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). Discuss how telescopes such as the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT), the ALMA submillimetre/millimetre telescope or the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) could be used to make observations to provide new insights into your chosen topic. You may also wish to include practical activities such as your own observations, or experiments.

Your report must be in English.

Please do not use automatic translators such as "Babelfish".

Please follow the rules and guidelines below, in "What do I need to include in my project?".

Catch a Star Adventurers

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 wish to include practical activities such as your own observations, or experiments. You may also describe a school activity, such as the organisation of an 'astronomy day' or observing camps for your class.

You do not need to write in English, but if you are writing in another language, you should provide an English-language abstract.

Please follow the rules and guidelines below, in "What do I need to include in my project?".

Catch a Star Artists

Make a drawing, painting, or other piece of artwork with an astronomical subject.

When is the deadline for entries?

The deadline for all entries is Friday 29 February 2008, at 17:00h Central European Time. This applies to electronic uploads and to the postmark on printed entries which are submitted by mail.

How do I submit my entry?

Catch a Star Researchers and Catch a Star Adventurers

The forms for registering your details and submitting your file online are available at this page. Please do not email your files to us! Submit your report electronically in one of the following formats:

Please make sure that any images are included in the file, and not as external links. We strongly prefer electronic submissions, but if absolutely necessary you can also submit your report in printed form through the post. Please include your names, dates of birth, teacher name, school name and address, a contact email address, and state whether you are entering the "Researchers" or "Adventurers" competition. Please note that we cannot return your contribution to you.

Catch a Star Artists

The forms for registering your details and submitting your file online are available at this page. Please do not email your files to us! Submit your artwork electronically in one of the following formats:

  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • GIF

We strongly prefer electronic submissions, but you can also submit your artwork in printed form through the post. Please include your name, date of birth, teacher name, school name and address, and a contact email address. Please note that we cannot return your contribution to you.

What do I need to include in my project?

Here are some rules and guidelines for Catch a Star Researchers or Catch a Star Adventurers projects:

  • Include an abstract (summary) of your project at the start (about 200-300 words). If you are entering Catch a Star Adventurers in a language other than English, please remember that the abstract must be in English.
  • Include the logos of Catch a Star, ESO and EAAE (click on these words to get the corresponding image files).
  • Include a bibliography listing references for the source documents and images you have used.
  • Your report should be no longer than about 5 000 words.
  • 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.
  • We encourage you to choose an original topic. Original projects will do better than, for example, several very similar projects from the same school class.
  • Please write as clearly as possible. Pay attention to scientific accuracy, clear language, and good design of your document as a whole.