MicroObservatory Challenge

For this challenge, you will need to process astronomical image data that you collect yourself from MicroObservatory telescopes. Submit your processed images to the challenge, and your work may be selected as a standout entry to receive feedback from NASA scientists!

Check out the What to do section to learn how to participate.

What to do

Follow the instructions below for each of the four steps. First you will capture your own real-time telescope image, then you'll create your own image using the JS9-4L image-processing tool, then you'll compare your processed image to a NASA-processed image, and finally you'll submit your processed image to the MicroObservatory Challenge.


Step 1: Capture Your Image

  • Go to the Control Telescope page of the Observing with NASA website.
  • Find , and then click the Observe button below it.
  • Fill out the necessary fields, and then submit your image request.
  • Your image will be captured tonight by a MicroObservatory telescope, and emailed to you sometime tomorrow.
  • It takes a day to receive your image because the telescopes can only capture your image at night!
  • Start processing your image by following the instructions in Step 2.
Continue to Step 2: Create
telescope

Video Tutorials

Still not sure what to do? Watch the following tutorial for more detailed instructions:

How to Request an Image

Find other useful tutorials on the Tools & Training page.

Step 2: Create Your Image

  • The day after you request your image of , you'll get an email from . Download your image to your device.
  • Open the Challenge Edition of JS9-4L to begin processing your image.
  • Take the Guided Tour of the JS9-4L image processor if you have never used it before.
  • Open your image using the Image dropdown.
  • You can also choose to process archived MicroObservatory images of in the Challenge Images dropdown.
  • Use the processing tools included with JS9-4L to enhance your image. Get creative!
  • If you aren't sure how to use JS9-4L's processing tools, check out the video tutorials below.
  • When you're done, save your image to your device as either a JPEG or PNG file.
  • Be careful not to save as a FITS file. FITS format won't preserve all the processing that you've done.
Continue to Step 3: Compare
JS9-4L image processing tool - open your image JS9-4L image processing tool - process your image
A processed MicroObservatory image of M82

Video Tutorials

Still not sure what to do? Watch the following tutorials for more detailed instructions:

How to Process a FITS Image

How to Create an RGB Image

How to Blend Images Together

Find other useful tutorials on the Tools & Training page.

Step 3: Compare Your Image

  • Download a NASA-processed image of that you will compare with the image you processed.
  • Check out the Astropix website for NASA imagery from many different telescopes.
  • Write a comparison between your image and NASA's image of . You'll need to include this comparison when you submit your image.
  • Some things to think about: What features of does each image focus on? Were different wavelengths of light used in either image? Think about what makes each image unique!
Continue to Step 4: Submit
Astropix

Step 4: Submit Your Image

  • In order to enter the MicroObservatory Challenge, you will need:
    1. • Your own processed image of
    2. • A written description of how you processed your image
    3. • One of NASA's processed images of
    4. • A written comparison of the two images
  • Submit your images to enter the MicroObservatory Challenge.
  • The Google form requires a Google email account. Don't have one? instead.
Submit your images:
Google Form or
Submit your images to the MicroObservatory Challenge with this form

Standout entries

We highlight a number of standout entries from each of the past seasons of NASA's Astrophoto Challenges. Click through the image thumbnails below to read expert feedback to participants from NASA scientists.

MicroObservatory Challenge

Choose from past seasons of the MicroObservatory Challenge below.

See standout entries for
the NASA Data Challenge

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.

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.