Coastal vista wins top prize at DIAS astrophotography competition

Josh Mathews, To the Waters and the Wild

Galway man wows with image of night sky over Crocnaraw

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31 May 2021 | 0

The winner of the inaugural Reach for the Stars astrophotography competition, run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies has been announced.

Josh Mathews from Shanbolard, Moyard, Co. Galway claimed the top prize from his photo To the Waters and the Wild, which depicts the night sky over Crocnaraw on the Connemara coast.

A PhD student at UCD, Mathews was selected as the winner by an expert judging panel following a rigorous judging process of over 180 entries.

 

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Two competition runners-up were also selected; Ciarán P. O’Donnell, from Belfast, Co. Antrim, for his image Cygnus Mosaic in Hubble Palette; and Tom O’Hanlon from Tullamore, Co. Offaly for his submission, North Star Jesuit House.

A selection of the judges’ top-rated images in the Reach for the Stars competition is now available to view in an online exhibition on the DIAS website. An outdoor exhibition at DIAS’s premises on Burlington Road is planned for the coming weeks, followed by an exhibition at DIAS Dunsink Observatory later this summer.

“The standard of entries to the competition was excellent, and the judging panel had a very difficult job making our final selection,” said Prof Peter Gallagher, head of astrophysics at DIAS and a member of the judging panel. “Josh’s image captures a beautiful starry night sky against a striking Irish landscape. It is such a dramatic image – there is almost something mystical about it. It also showcases his obvious talent as an astrophotographer.”

Dr. Eucharia Meehan, CEO and registrar of DIAS, added: “This competition builds on DIAS’s – and Ireland’s – proud astronomical heritage. DIAS Dunsink Observatory is one of Ireland’s most important scientific sites and has been recognised by the European Physical Society as a ‘site of historical significance’. We are delighted that Josh, as the winner of this competition, will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit the observatory and see some of the unique equipment housed there.” 

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