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The Rules

Make sure you read the Rules.

Learn more about each Category

Connecting to the Dark

Experiencing a natural night provides perspective, inspiration, and leads us to reflect on our humanity and place in the universe. Share a photo that illustrates our connection to the night.

International Dark Sky Place

Over 170 protected lands and municipalities around the world have been certified by IDA as an International Dark Sky Place creating havens for astrophotographers. Share a photo taken in one of these locations.

The Impact of Light Pollution

Light pollution can have significant impacts on the environment, human health, and our access to the night sky. Share a shot that demonstrates the impact of light pollution. This category also includes images of terrible lighting, glare bombs, etc.

The Bright Side of Lighting

Light pollution can give artificial lighting a bad reputation, but lighting that follows IDA’s Principles for Responsible Outdoor Light can be beautiful, healthy, and functional. Share a shot of lighting that respects the dark.

Creatures of the Night

Light pollution doesn’t only erase our view of the stars, scientific evidence suggests that artificial light at night has negative and deadly effects on wildlife including amphibians, birds, insects, and mammals. Share a photo of a creature that is impacted by light pollution.

Deep Sky

For thousands of years, humans have looked to the night sky and wondered what is out there. Today, we can take photos of deep space objects from our own backyards. Share a photo of an object(s) such as nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters.

The Mobile Photographer

No big camera? No problem! Share a shot from any of the above categories taken with a cell phone, tablet, or GoPro. No DSLR, mirrorless camera, or drone shots.


Share a shot for any of the above categories taken by someone 17 years old or younger.

Utah Dark Skies

Presenting Sponsor Visit Utah encourages you to share a photo taken in one of the most popular destinations to capture dark skies — Utah, U.S.

Key Dates

  • June 22nd - Contest Opens for Entries closed July 21
  • July 6th - Voting Opens
  • July 21st - Entry Period Closes
  • August 7 - Voting Closes
  • August 30th - Winners announced!


  • Start by selecting the Category to enter.
  • Press the Select file... button and select your image.
  • Enter your details in the entry form.
  • Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  • Press Submit.

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