Astronomy 50th Anniversary Essay Contest: Official Rules 


1. Eligibility. The Astronomy 50th Anniversary Essay Contest (the “Contest”) is open to residents of the United States only, who are age 18 years or older and have reached the age of 18 in their state of residency at the time of entry. Employees (and their dependents and immediate household members) of Kalmbach Media Co., (“Sponsor”), and their advertising and promotional agencies and sponsoring companies are not eligible to participate. Void where prohibited by law. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. 

2. Contest Period. The Contest begins on July 5, 2023, at 12:00:00 a.m. Central Time, and all entries must be sent via email no later than August 31, 2023, at 11:59:59 p.m. Central Time. 

3. How to Enter. To enter, email entries about the best, most remarkable, favorite, and/or weirdest observing experience to with the subject line, “Celestron Essay Contest.” Essays must be between 50 to 350 words and include your name, address, and phone number. One entry per email. You may submit multiple entries through the email address during the Contest Period. The email must include an essay as well as your name, address, and phone number, to be eligible. 

4. Prizes/Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) in U.S. Dollars. One (1) Grand Prize consisting of a StarSense Explorer 8” Smartphone App-Enabled Dobsonian Telescope ($799.95).

5. Judging. Judging for the Grand Prize will be ongoing throughout the Contest period and end around September 29, 2023. Essays will be judged by Astronomy magazine employees based on the essay’s flow, clarity, and originality. Multiple entries per person permitted. The Winner will be notified by email on or before October 2, 2023. 

6. Prize Restrictions. No cash equivalent or prize substitution permitted. All prizes subject to the guarantees/warranties of the manufacturer. Any applicable federal, state, and/or local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. For prizes of $600 or more in value, winner’s Taxpayer I.D. will be required to issue a Form 1099-MISC showing prize ARV as income. 

7. Validation and Acceptance. The potential winner may be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, publicity release, and Release of Liability within fourteen (14) days of notification. If the potential winner cannot be contacted within a reasonable time period, if the potential winner in ineligible, if any notification is undeliverable, or if the potential winner otherwise fails to fully comply with these Official Rules, he/she will forfeit that Prize, and if time permits, an alternate winner will be selected using the same judging criteria. 

8. Winner Announcement. To see the winner of the essay contest, see the Astronomy website ( after October 9, 2023.

9. Limitations of Liability. The Sponsor is not responsible for and shall not be liable for: (i) telephone, electronic, hardware or software program, network, Internet, or computer malfunctions, failures, or difficulties of any kind; (ii) failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmissions; (iii) any condition caused by events beyond the control of Sponsor that may cause the Contest to be disrupted or corrupted; (iv) any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising in connection with or as a result of the prize, or acceptance, possession, or use/misuse of the prize, or from participation in the Contest; (v) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Contest; (vi) any change in participant’s telephone number, mailing address or email address. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to suspend or cancel the Contest at any time if a computer virus, bug tampering, unauthorized intervention, or other technical problem of any sort corrupts the administration, security, or proper play of the Contest. Sponsor also reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole discretion, any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of the website, or who is otherwise in violation of the rules. By participating in the Contest, each participant agrees to release and hold Sponsor, their employees, officers, and directors, their advertising and promotional agencies, and sponsoring companies harmless from any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind in connection with the Contest or resulting from acceptance, possession, or use/misuse of any prize, including without limitation, personal injury, death, and property damage, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion of privacy. 

10. Additional terms. By entering the Contest, participants agree to be bound by these official rules and all decisions of Sponsor. Except where prohibited, each entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by state or federal courts situated in Wisconsin, (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, but in no event attorneys’ fees, (3) no punitive, incidental, special, consequential or other damages, including, without limitation, lost profits, may be awarded (collectively, “special damages”), and (4) entrant hereby waives all rights to claim special damages and all rights to such damages multiplied or increased. Wisconsin law, without reference to choice of law rules, governs the Contest and all aspects related thereto. 

11. Sponsor. Sponsored by Kalmbach Media Co., P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612.