TWAN Contest Brings the Message to the World
From the perspective of The World at Night program the sky above us is an essential part of our nature, a heritage for us and rest of species on this planet, besides being a laboratory to explore the universe. With two-thirds of the world population living in light polluted areas, the night sky might become a forgotten part of urban life. Just consider the sky half of our night-time environment, not a small portion of nature to loose! The annual TWAN International Earth & Sky Photo contest is built based on these goals; to make an impact on public awareness on beauty and importance of night sky as part of our nature, a heritage to preserve from increasing light pollution.
The media coverage for the winner announcement of the 2013 Earth & Sky Photo Contest was a major success to bring this message to people around the world. From the National Geographic News to the Smithsonian, Spiegel online (one of the most visited German news sites), Yahoo, NBC News, and local media in over 30 countries that we have managed to track. In the list below you will find links to some of the main online media coverage that we are aware of. The contest was also covered by a number of printed media including Metro International newspapers and Australian newspapers under the Australia National News Source.
The annual contest is a collaboration of TWAN, the outreach and education group of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and Global Astronomy Month, the Astronomers Without Borders annual world-wide program in April. The contest was founded in 2008 as a regional program and it was expanded to an international effort in 2009 during the International Year of Astronomy. According to the contest criteria the submitted images are all created in the â€œTWAN styleâ€â€”showing both the Earth and the skyâ€”by combining elements of the night sky set in the backdrop of the Earth horizon, often with a notable scenery or landmark. Known as â€œlandscape astrophotographyâ€ this is similar to general “Nightscape Photography” but with more attention to the sky, astronomical perspectives, and celestial phenomena. The contest special attention to preserving night sky is to support global efforts in controlling light pollution (International Dark Sky Association).