Overview of NASA's Astrophoto Challenges

Try your hand at processing images from NASA's telescopes, or capture and process your own!

Welcome to the Summer 2022 Edition of NASA's Astrophoto Challenges. For inspiration, check out the Standout Entries from the 2021 MicroObservatory Challenge and NASA Data Challenge. Submissions Due July 31.

How it works

Watch this overview video to learn how to participate in the Challenges. You might also learn a thing or two about Eta Carina & the , and how you can find these objects out in the night sky.

Are you unable to see the YouTube video above? Watch the video here instead.

So you're ready to participate?

Great! Go to the MicroObservatory Challenge page or the NASA Data Challenge page
for more detailed instructions on how to enter either challenge.

The two challenges

NASA's Astrophoto Challenges include two challenges: the MicroObservatory Challenge and the NASA Data Challenge. Enter either challenge — or both! — and the MicroObservatory and NASA's Universe of Learning team could select your work as a standout entry for feedback from NASA scientists!

MicroObservatory Challenge

Capture your own real-time telescope image of , and process it with MicroObservatory's JS9‑4L tool.

Then consider how the image of that you processed compares to an image of processed by NASA.

Click here to participate

NASA Data Challenge

Select any of NASA's images of Eta Carina & (available here), and process them with MicroObservatory's JS9‑4L tool.

Use all the techniques you've learned with MicroObservatory to process real NASA data and create your best image.

Click here to participate

General information

Who can participate?


You just 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.

What do I do?

Find detailed instructions to participate in either challenge on the MicroObservatory Challenge page and the NASA Data Challenge page.

Are you new to MicroObservatory? Check out all the tutorials available on the Tools & Training page.

How do I submit my images?

If you have a Google email, submit your images here for either the MicroObservatory Challenge or the NASA Data Challenge.

Otherwise, you can submit your images to this to enter either Challenge.

What happens with my entry?

The MicroObservatory Team and NASA's Universe of Learning will review all of the submissions, and highlight entries that demonstrate compelling and creative image-processing techniques.

Standout entries will be recognized on the MicroObservatory Challenge page and the NASA Data Challenge page. Every standout entry will receive expert feedback from NASA scientists!

When does this season end?

The season will end on .

After the season ends, we will review all submissions to NASA's Astrophoto Challenges, and will post standout entries on the Challenge pages.

Follow our Twitter or Facebook pages to get updates whenever standout entries are posted.

What about past seasons?

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.

Want to see what others have done with image data? Check out standout entries from past Challenges on the MicroObservatory Challenge and NASA Data Challenge pages.