Lagoon Nebula, NASA's Hubble

NASA's Astrophoto Challenges
Fall 2018 Lagoon Nebula

The Fall 2018 Challenges have ended! The next set of Challenges will arrive in Summer 2019. Stay tuned!

Until then, see the Fall 2018 standout entries for the MicroObservatory Challenge and NASA Data Challenge.

Test your image-processing skills with NASA's Astrophoto Challenges

Work with your own telescope images (captured nightly by MicroObservatory telescopes) — or work with real NASA image data.

Submit your images to either the MicroObservatory Challenge or the NASA Data Challenge, and the MicroObservatory and NASA's Universe of Learning team could select your work as a standout entry for feedback from NASA scientists!

Watch the video below to learn more about the Challenges.

The Two Challenges

NASA's Astrophoto Challenges include two different challenges. You can enter either, or both!

MicroObservatory Challenge

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

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

Click here to participate

NASA Data Challenge

Select any of NASA's images of this season's target object (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

Who Can Participate?

Anyone! 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.

How Do I Enter?

Submit your images here for either the MicroObservatory Challenge or the NASA Data Challenge.

Not Sure What to Do?

Find instructions on the MicroObservatory Challenge page, or the NASA Data Challenge page.

New to MicroObservatory? Check out all the tutorials available on the Tools & Training page.

What Happens with My Entry?

The MicroObservatory Team and NASA's Universe of Learning will review all of the submissions, and highlight standout entries in the following two categories:


your processing of MicroObservatory
images using the JS9-4L processing tool


your processing of NASA data
using the JS9-4L processing tool

When does the challenge end?

The Fall 2018 Challenges (Lagoon Nebula) ended on November 7th. We have posted standout entries to the MicroObservatory Challenge and NASA Data Challenge pages.

We will be posting a new season of NASA's Astrophoto Challenges in Summer 2019. Stay tuned!

By entering NASA's Astrophoto Challenges, you agree to allow Smithsonian and NASA's Universe of Learning to publish the images and information you provide in your submission form. We will only use this information to recognize you as a standout entry on our website and social media.