Science and Technology Facilities Council
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European Astronomy Journalism Prize expanded

The European Astronomy Journalism Prize 2013 launched recently has been expanded to now include entries from Europe and South America.

The competition is run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in conjunction with the Association of British Science Writers and the Royal Astronomical Society.

“Astronomy is a global research discipline, and excites and inspires millions of people every day around the world, so we believe it’s appropriate to expand the Prize to recognise a broader range of inspirational coverage of astronomy,” ESO Head of Education and Public Outreach Lars Lindberg Christensen said recently.

STFC Head of Communications Terry O’Connor said the inaugural competition in 2012 was open only to entries published or broadcast in English in the United Kingdom, but has now been extended to entries in English from any ESO member state.

“We’re delighted to work with ESO to offer the winner a trip to the world’s most advanced optical instrument: ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile,” Terry said.

The VLT is located at the Paranal Observatory on Cerro Paranal, a 2,635m mountain in the northern part of Chile.

Entries for the Prize must be about astronomy and related areas of technology, or about the work and lifestyles of astronomers, engineers or others working in the field of astronomy.

The entries must reflect European interests and they can be online, written or broadcast.

Entries must have been published or broadcast during the period 1 July 2012 to 31 July 2013 inclusive. Applications close on Wednesday 31 July 2013.

Entry is open to journalists, students of a recognised journalism course, students of a recognised qualification in astronomy, or holders of a recognised qualification in astronomy, whose work is published or broadcast and is accessible to the general public. You may be asked to provide proof of your status.

Please make sure that you have read all the terms and conditions carefully. They are also available on the ESO website.

Notes to editors

View the full details about the competition including a full set of terms and conditions that must be adhered to by those entering.

Images available

An image of the prize winner’s destination in Chile can be found alongside other images of the Very Large Telescope and Paranal on ESO’s website.


  • Lucy Stone
    Press Office
    STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
    Tel: +44 (0)1235 445 627
    Mob: +44 (0)7920 870125
  • Oana Sandu
    Education and Public Outreach
    Tel: +49 89 320 069 65
  • Dr Robert Massey
    Royal Astronomical Society
    Mob: +44 (0)794 124 8035
  • Martin Ince
    Association of British Science Writers

Further information

European Southern Observatory

The year 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor.

At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light.

ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning the 39-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

Royal Astronomical Society

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The RAS organises scientific meetings, publishes international research and review journals, recognizes outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 3500 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others.

Association of British Science Writers

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