26 Jun 2022

Roscrea astro-photographer chosen for next stage of DIAS astrophotography competition

Opportunity for Tipperary people to show their support through online public vote

Roscrea astro-photographer chosen for next stage of DIAS astrophotography competition

Kevin Molloy has a love for space science and astro photography

The people of Tipperary are being asked to show their support for a Roscrea based astro-photographer in an online public vote.

Kevin Molloy has been chosen for the next stage of the prestigious Reach for the Stars astrophotography competition, run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS).

A photograph taken by Kevin has been shortlisted in the Out of this World category in the competition, which aims to find the best astro-photographs taken in Ireland over the past year.

While a high-profile judging panel will select the overall winning entries in the coming weeks, an online vote was launched on Monday, so members of the public can also have their say.

All shortlisted images – including Kevin Molloy’s photograph – can now be viewed on the Reach for the Stars website,, where members of the public can also cast their vote for their favourite image.

Over 160 images were submitted to the competition in total this year, with 40 selected for the shortlist and public vote.

Alongside the Public Choice Award for the winner of the online public vote, an overall winner and runners-up will be chosen by the judging panel for ‘Reach for the Stars’, which includes: Professor Peter Gallagher, Head of Astrophysics at DIAS; Brenda Fitzsimons, Picture Editor of The Irish Times; John Flannery, Vice-President of the Irish Astronomical Society; and Niamh Breathnach, Director, Alice PR & Events.

This year will also see the inclusion of a special prize to mark the 75th anniversary of the School of Cosmic Physics. One photograph that depicts the work of one or more of the research areas carried out at the School will be selected for the prize.

Commenting today, Professor Peter Gallagher of DIAS said: “I’m delighted to return for a second year of judging for the ‘Reach for the Stars’ competition. The standard of entries has been excellent again this year. It’s amazing what the photographers have been able to capture, from stars and galaxies that are millions of light years away to stunning scenery back on earth.

“I’m particularly excited to be involved in selecting this year’s special prize to mark the 75th anniversary of DIAS’s School of Cosmic Physics. I’ll be looking for an image that depicts the work of one or more of the research areas carried out at the School. This includes research on everything from solar and stellar physics and space weather to planetary science, geological formations and star formations.

“We hope the people of Tipperary will get involved again this year in the public vote and cast their vote for their favourite image.”

Also commenting today, Dr. Eucharia Meehan, CEO and Registrar of DIAS, said: “The online public vote to select the winner of the Public Choice Award is a great way to introduce people to the world of astrophotography. Some of the entries capture very complex astronomical features, while others depict stunning Irish landscapes to showcase different aspects of astronomy.

"It will be a difficult task for people to choose a favourite in the online public vote – and for the judging panel to select an overall winner. I’m so impressed by the level of creativity and skill we have amongst photographers in Tipperary and right across the country.”

Votes for the Public Choice Award are restricted to one vote per person, and voting will close at midnight on Sunday, 3rd July 2022.

DIAS’s ‘Reach for the Stars’ competition is being run in partnership with The Irish Times and is sponsored by Alice PR & Events. The Irish Astronomical Society are initiative supporters.

Further information, including the online gallery and background information on the competition, is available at exhibition/ .

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