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Explore Alliance Astrophotography Contest

The Explore Alliance is excited to be hosting its first Astrophotography Contest to recognize the excellent work of the Astrophotographers in our membership ranks.

For this initial contest, we are looking for the best of the best in seven imaging categories: Deep Sky Objects, Planetary, Solar, Lunar, Wide Field, Time-Lapse and Terrestrial. Prizes will be awarded in each category:

  • 1st Place winners will receive a $200 Explore Scientific gift card, an upgrade to their EA membership, and a 24x36 mounted print of their winning image.

  • 2nd Place winners will receive a $150 Explore Scientific gift card, an upgrade to their EA membership and an 18x24 mounted print of their winning image.

  • 3rd Place winners will receive a $100 Explore Scientific gift card, an upgrade to their EA membership, and an 11x17 print of their winning image.

  • Best in Show will be selected from the 1st Place winners in each of the seven categories. The best of show winner will receive a 24x44 mounted print of their winning image in place of the 36x24 1st Place prize.

Entries are being accepted through 12:00 UTC (6 am CST) Dec. 24, 2020. Before entry, please be aware of the following rules/requirements:

  • Each entrant must be an Explore Alliance member. If you are not already a member, you can join for free, or at a paid level, at

  • At least one piece of Explore Scientific equipment (telescope or mount) must have been used in the capture of the submitted image. Entrants must identify equipment and imaging data in the appropriate sections on the form below.

  • Each entry MUST be the original work of the entrant. By entering you are stating that the image is your property and work that original to you.

  • Although the contest entry period through Dec. 24, 2020, images taken outside of the contest time period ARE eligible for entry.

  • Entrants must read and agree to abide by the rules and photo release at the time of submission. These are included on the form below.

  • Entrants may enter more than one photo into the contest. However, each photo must be submitted on a separate form.

Contest rules: 

The following are basic rules governing all contests conducted by Explore Scientific.
In the event that no other rules are published for a particular contest or promotion, the following rules will apply. In some instances, rules for individual contests and promotions may conflict with these rules in which case the individual contest rules will take precedence over the basic rules. All contests are void where prohibited by law.

Prize(s). The prize(s) that may be awarded to the eligible winner(s) are not transferable, redeemable for cash or exchangeable for any other prize. All prizes have no cash value and no warranty other than the benefits of membership in Explore Alliance. Participants must provide valid and accurate contact information. If a winner cannot be contacted or is disqualified for any reason, Explore Scientific reserves the right to determine an alternate winner or not to award that winner’s prize, in its sole discretion.

Eligibility and Limitations. Participants and winner(s) must be members of Explore Alliance. If an entrant is not an Explore Alliance member by the time the contest closes, the entrant will be ineligible. Limit of one entry per person per question. Only one (1) prize per household for the contest. There is no limitation on age. A parent or guardian of any participant who is a minor must sign a release on behalf of the minor to be eligible to receive a prize, but Explore Scientific reserves the right to refuse to award a prize to or on behalf of any minor. Employees of Explore Scientific, the contest’s participating sponsors and their advertising agencies, and members of the immediate family of any such persons are not eligible to participate and win. The term “immediate family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws,” or by current or past marriage(s), remarriage(s), adoption, co-habitation or other family extension, and any other persons residing at the same household whether or not related.

Entries. Only entries submitted as designated by Explore Scientific in individual contests may be used to enter the contest.

Tax. Any valuation of the prize(s) stated above is based on available information provided to Explore Scientific, and the value of any prize awarded to a winner may be reported for tax purposes as required by law. Each winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes related to the prize(s) and paying any expenses associated with any prize which is not specifically provided for in the official rules. Each winner must provide Explore Scientific with valid identification and a valid taxpayer identification number or Social Security number before any prize will be awarded. Any person winning over $600 in prizes from Explore Scientific will receive an IRS form 1099 at the end of the calendar year and a copy of such form will be filed with the IRS.

Publicity; Use of Personal Information. By participating, where allowed by law, all participants and winner(s) grant Explore Scientific exclusive permission to use their names, characters, photographs, voices, videotape, and likenesses in connection with promotion of this and other contests and waive any claims to royalty, right, or remuneration for such use.

Disqualification; Fraud. Failure to comply with any published contest rules is grounds for immediate disqualification from the contest. Explore Scientific reserves the right to disqualify any entry not conforming to the rules of the promotion at any time. Explore Scientific and its contest and promotional partners assume no responsibility for entry fraud committed by any entrant. In the event it is determined that an ineligible entrant wins a prize, Explore Scientific reserves all rights to the ownership and return of the prize and all costs associated with remedying any prize award to an ineligible entry or entrant.

Misinformation. Explore Scientific is not responsible for undeliverable, lost, delayed, misdirected or misaddressed email or any other issues regarding the electronic delivery of the contest form. This includes, but is not limited to, the speed at which your email service routes email through the Internet. The sole determiner of eligibility for the final drawing will be the time the email is received in the specified email address’ in-box.

Conduct and Decisions. By participating in the contest, each participant and winner waives any and all claims of liability against Explore Scientific, its employees and agents, the contest’s sponsors and their respective employees and agents, for any personal injury or loss which may occur from the conduct of, or participation in, the contest, or from the use of any prize. Acceptance of each prize will constitute a waiver of liability to Explore Scientific.

Conduct and Decisions. By participating in the contest, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of Company personnel. Persons who violate any rule, gain unfair advantage in participating in the contest, or obtain winner status using fraudulent means will be disqualified. Unsportsmanlike, disruptive, annoying, harassing or threatening behavior is prohibited. Explore Scientific will interpret these rules and resolve any disputes, conflicting claims or ambiguities concerning the rules or the contest and Explore Scientific’s decisions concerning such disputes shall be final. If the conduct or outcome of the contest is affected by human error, any mechanical malfunctions or failures of any kind, intentional interference or any event beyond the control of Explore Scientific, Explore Scientific reserves the right to terminate this contest, or make such other decisions regarding the outcome as Explore Scientific deems appropriate. All decisions will be made by Explore Scientific and are final. Explore Scientific may waive any of these rules in its sole discretion. Any attempt by an entrant or any other individual to deliberately circumvent, disrupt, damage or undermine the legitimate operation of this contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, Explore Scientific reserve the right to seek civil and/or criminal prosecution and/or damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Miscellaneous. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. Each winner must submit proof of eligibility and sign a designated release form to claim the prize. Explore Scientific may substitute prizes, amend the rules or discontinue the contest at any time as announced. Explore Scientific disclaims any responsibility to notify participants of any aspect related to the conduct of the contest. All entries become the property of Explore Scientific and will not be returned.

Compliance with Law. The conduct of the contest is governed by the applicable laws of the United States of America, which take precedence over any rule to the contrary herein. Explore Scientific shall follow the applicable laws for conducting contests, including notice to the state attorney general or consumer affairs office, posting of a prize bond, furnishing lists of winners, running specific on-air disclaimers, providing specific written information about the contest, etc. as required by local and state law.