Q: I have some media produced on an SGI workstation. Is that OK to submit?
A: Not if we need an SGI workstation to view it. Unless otherwise noted, we do not accept entries unless they can be reviewed in a PC environment.

Q: May I submit Photoshop or QuarkXPress Files?
A: No. Please submit your images using a TIFF, JPG, BMP, or PNG extension.

Q: May I submit Camera Raw format images?
A: No.

Q: Is PowerPoint OK?
A: No.

Q: What can I submit? What kind of things would be appropriate?

A: Please review our Eligibility Criteria and Rules pages for specific information. We encourage you to submit your entry!

Q: What characterizes a winning entry?
A: Entries are scored based on visual impact, technical skill, and originality/creativity. See our Judging Criteria page for more information.

Q: I am from a foreign country. Can I submit an entry?

A: Yes, this is an international competition.

Q: What needs to be submitted in English?
A: The application and all documents related to the contest must be written in English.

Q: What are the file size restrictions for my entry?
A: Images submitted for judging may not exceed 10 MB. An original version of at least 2 megapixels must be available for winning entries, and winning entries may exceed 10 MB in original size.

Q: How do I submit my entries?
A: Entries are submitted via www.nsf.gov/comet, starting October 15.

Q: May I digitally alter my image?
A: We recognize that astrophotographs typically require considerably more processing than regular photography to achieve desired results. However, please do not enhance or alter your photographs beyond that which is reasonably necessary. For example, cutting and pasting foreground elements into your image is not appropriate. We require all processing steps to be summarized when submitting your entry and these will be taken into account during judging.

Q: Am I required to disclose my processing steps when submitting an entry?
A: Yes. The judges need to know to what extent the original image has been altered. As an example, the following basic description is acceptable: “The contrast has been stretched and the color balance has been modified.” A more complicated image could be described by: “Four individual 5-minute exposures have been registered and added. The resulting image was contrast enhanced and color balanced. An image of the comet obtained the previous day and processed in a similar fashion has been cut and pasted into this image, to demonstrate the changes in the comet’s structure over a 24 hour period.”