Sky & Telescope is now welcoming submissions to the Comet ISON Photo Contest.

Comet ISON Photo Contest

Monica Young

Even with the recent news that Comet ISON is intact and expected to survive perihelion, it's still difficult to predict what Comet ISON will do come November. Will it become a spectacle in the December pre-dawn sky? A mere speck? Or something in between?

Whatever happens, we know that in the coming months our readers will be out in the early-morning hours, taking spectacular images of the comet. Some already have!

In that spirit, Sky & Telescope is holding a Comet ISON Photo Contest, sponsored by Celestron. This is your chance to share your beautiful comet photos, with a chance to win one of three prizes from Celestron. The first prize is an 8-inch EdgeHD on Advanced VX Mount and the Skyris 274M Camera. Second prize is the Cometron 114AZ Telescope, and third prize is a pair of Cometron 12x70 Binoculars.

8-inch EdgeHD on Advanced VX Mount; Skyris 274M CameraCometron 114AZ telescopeCometron 12x70 binoculars

The contest starts today, October 25th, and we'll accept photo submissions until midnight EST on December 31st. We welcome entries of all types, including high-power telescopic photos and wide-field nightscapes. The main requirement is that Comet ISON be in the original exposure(s). For example, we won't accept a photo of the comet over the Golden Gate Bridge if ISON is pasted into a photo taken several years ago.

We'll accept as many as five entries per person, and there's no fee to participate. You'll retain the rights to your photos — we only ask permission to publish the winning photos on our website and in the April 2014 issue of S&T.

Ready to enter the contest? Submit your photos here!

Selecting the Winners

Once the deadline has passed, S&T editorial and art staffs will select about a dozen finalists. We'll post the images and photographer names on the website on January 8, 2014.

Then it's your turn! You'll be able to cast your votes for your favorite entry until January 22nd. We'll tally up the votes and announce the winners in the April issue of S&T and online.

For More Information

Good luck and clear skies!


Image of Erin


October 25, 2013 at 10:56 am

Nice how this is setup to give the people who already have these tools, more tools. The people who could truly use these tools aren't being given much of a chance, because the people who can afford the equipment and software will have the best images and have already won. So the people who cannot afford the expensive software or the expensive telescopes and drives don't stand much of a chance in this contest. So you are pandering to the "haves" and ignoring the "have-nots", the people who could really benefit.

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Image of Comet C/2012 S1 - ISON

Comet C/2012 S1 - ISON

October 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) Facebook Page -

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Image of Mike Harden

Mike Harden

October 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm

The best images I've ever seen of a comet were not taken through a telescope. The most spectacular shots of comet McNaught for example were taken through a simple 55mm lens and DSLR mounted on a tripod. Since the contest includes telescopic shots as well as nightscapes the playing field has been leveled. With these fair rules I see no such "pandering" to the haves.

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Image of Rich


October 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Either poster could be right at this point. If the comet does not develop well it will not get relatively bright until it is very near the sun. In this case, it might never become visible to the unaided eye, but good equipment and experienced astrophotographers may be able to tease out some fine pictures taken in twilight. If the comet does perk up and put on a good show,then modest equipment will suffice.

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