School students from around the world are invited to take part in the 2017 Catch a Star contest. This is a European astronomical writing contest, with some prizes that will leave students starry-eyed!

To participate, students should submit a written report on an astronomical topic of their own choice — for example, an astronomical object, phenomenon, observation, scientific problem or theory. Reports must be written in English and be no more than 5000 words in length. Contestants may work in groups of up to three students, plus a group leader who is not a student.

The idea of the Catch a Star program is to encourage students to work together, to learn about astronomy and discover things for themselves by researching information on an astronomical object.

Each submission must be emailed as a PDF file to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline for all entries is 17:00 CET on 20 December 2017.

There will be five lucky winners chosen, and each winner will have the chance to carry out their own remote observations at the National Astronomical Observatory “Rozhen”, Bulgaria, or to hold a video conference with a professional astronomer. In addition, each will receive a mounted image featuring ESO telescopes in Chile, courtesy of ESO, such as the awe-inspiring Panorama of the Southern Sky.

The goal of the European Astronomy Contest Catch a Star is to stimulate the creativity and independent work of students from European secondary schools, to strengthen and expand their astronomical knowledge and skills, and to help the spread of information technologies in the educational process.

Catch a Star is a contest that has been held as a result of the collaboration between the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) and European Southern Observatory (ESO).