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Earth Beheld Image Contest
Requirements and Rules

UPDATED: July 17, 2013



A description of the Message to the Milky Way contest ("Contest") can be found at: http://diamondskyproductions.com/recent



This Contest is sponsored by Diamond Sky Productions, LLC ("Sponsor").


Contest Eligibility:

The Contest is open to anyone, regardless of race, national origin, gender, religion, disability, or sexual orientation, who is at least 18 years of age at the time of entry and submits an image ("Participant"), except for individuals affiliated with the Sponsor, including employees, volunteers, advisors, partners (including financial partners), and their immediate families (spouses, parents, siblings, and children). The Sponsor shall determine winners' eligibility in its sole discretion.

Sponsor limits entries to one per person and per email address. Additional entries will be void.


What to Enter:

The Contest seeks an original image that best represents Planet Earth. Each entry should seek to answer the following question: "If you found yourself somehow communicating with an alien being from another world orbiting a star in a distant quadrant of the galaxy, and you could take only one picture of your home planet that best conveys to her/him/it the uniqueness of Earth among the planets orbiting the Sun, what would that picture look like?"

Participant should consider what might be universally understood by sentient beings from another world. While one can assume that extraterrestrials have knowledge of physical laws and phenomena (such as gravity or the propagation of electromagnetic radiation) and familiarity with the structure and content of the universe, one cannot assume alien knowledge of the biology or behaviors of terrestrial life forms, or of human culture. For example, extraterrestrials cannot be expected to comprehend human art.

The challenge of the Contest is to illustrate in one image some unique aspect(s) of the surface environment and/or life, or both, on planet Earth, that can be understood by an extraterrestrial recipient. The more informative and content-rich the submitted image is in its communication of this information to an alien species, the better.

Images meeting the Technical Requirements (below) will be judged on their content, quality, and composition. The winning image(s) must be a well thought-out composition, high in quality (within the Technical Requirements), and its content must be meaningful and purposeful. Images that contain defamatory or otherwise objectionable content, as determined by the sole discretion of Sponsor, shall be deemed ineligible. Images submitted to other photography contests shall be deemed ineligible.

For an image in which a person is recognizable, other than as part of a crowd at a public gathering, Participant must secure a model release from the subject or, in the case of a minor, the subject's parent or guardian and provide it to Sponsor upon request. The model release that needs to be filled out, signed, and uploaded along with the image and other meta-data, is available at:



Technical Requirements:

The image submitted to this contest must meet the following requirements:

  • Image must be taken on July 19, 2013, and include a time tag to prove the date of the image.

  • Image must be Participant's own work and not infringe on any third party's rights.

  • Only digital images may be submitted.

  • Images may be color or black & white.

  • Images must be in JPG (JPEG) or PNG format.

  • The original image must be no more than 21 million pixels (eg, 4500 x 4500, or 6000 x 3500). However, the image submitted to the contest and uploaded to the Yet-To-Be-Specified website location, if larger than 3 MB, must be reduced in data volume (by either re-sizing or compressing) to a final size no bigger than 3 MB. Generally, if you edit a digital image via Photoshop or some other tool, the meta-data may be lost and the time tag will be altered. Therefore, if you do any editing, you must keep your original raw image to prove that it was taken on July 19, 2013.

    [The image(s) radiated into the Milky Way will be compressed to a degree sufficient to allow efficient transmission to space, but not so drastically as to lose vital information. It is important that images, even compressed to 3MB, retain their essential content.]

  • If a submitted image is chosen for inclusion on the short list of potential winners, Sponsor may request the larger version of the image, if one is available, for final judgment and use in follow-on publicity and media productions. Submitted images that are not winners may also be included in future publicity and media productions; Sponsor may request the larger version of the image, if one is available, in these cases also.

  • Sponsor will not accept images that have been excessively enhanced or altered, either digitally or otherwise. Minor adjustments designed to make the image match what was seen with the naked eye, including but not limited to spotting, dodging and burning, sharpening, contrast, and slight color adjustment, are acceptable. If Sponsor determines that a Participant has excessively enhanced or altered his or her image, Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify the image. The original raw image must be available and will be reviewed for verification purposes before your photo can be selected as a winner.


    How to Enter:

    Submit the image and any other requested information through Sponsor's website. THE WEBSITE LOCATION FOR UPLOADS IS NOT YET AVAILABLE. RETURN OFTEN TO THIS PAGE FOR UPDATES. Sponsor will not accept images submitted through mail or e-mail.

    Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify incomplete entries and/or Participants who are unable to submit, upon request, a high-resolution image and, if applicable, a model release.

    Sponsor will collect Participant's metadata upon entry.


    Contest Period and Entry Deadline:

    The image entry for the Message to the Milky Way/Earth Beheld contest must be taken on July 19, 2013, the same day (but not necessarily the same time) of Cassini's image of the Earth from Saturn orbit.

    The dates for the upload and submission of materials for the Contest have not yet been determined and will depend on the date by which a hosting service has been identified and a specific user-interface for these contest has been put into place.

    Expected submission time is late summer 2013, but this is subject to change.

    Notification of upload location, submission period, and entry deadline will be forthcoming over social media channels and email. For future email notifications, sign up here


    Choice of Winner(s):

    Once the submission period for the contest is over, time will be required to judge the images and choose the winner(s). Winning image(s) will be selected without reference to Participant's race, national origin, gender, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. Sponsor estimates that winner(s) in the image contest will be chosen no later January 1, 2014 but this date is be subject to change. If the Sponsor deems that, given the Contest goals, no entry is acceptable, or if the Sponsor deems the number of entries to be insufficient to make the Contest viable, the Sponsor retains the right to choose no winner at all. Please do not contact Sponsor about the status of entries or judging.


    Winner Notification:

    A short list of potential winners will be notified by email or phone. If Sponsor determines that any Participants have violated the eligibility requirements or other Contest rules, they will be disqualified at this time, yielding a final even-shorter list of legitimate potential winners. The final winner(s) will be chosen from among this remaining list.



    The intent is that the winning image(s) will be included in a digitally encoded message that will be sent, at a future date, from a large radio antenna on Earth to the Milky Way. There is no retail value to this award. Winning image(s) may be - but are not guaranteed to be - eligible for a monetary prize, the amount(s) of which will depend on the extent to which money is raised.


    Additional Rules:


    Entrance into the contest constitutes Participant's full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning is contingent upon being compliant with these Official Rules and fulfilling all other requirements set forth herein. Failure by the Sponsor to enforce any provision of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

    Cancelation, Modification, and/or Disqualification. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel the Contest or modify these rules at its discretion. In the event of a dispute regarding the winner(s), Sponsor reserves the right to award or not award prizes in its sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any Participant whose entry or conduct appears in any way to tamper with the Contest, inhibit the enjoyment of others, violate Contest rules, infringe on the rights of third parties, or act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to damage the website or undermine the legitimate operation of the contest may be a violation of the criminal and civil law, and should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages (including attorney's fees) and any other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Decisions of Sponsor are final.

    In the event that operation, security, or administration of the contest is impaired in any way for any reason, including but not limited to fraud, virus, bug, worm, unauthorized human intervention, legal matters requiring undue attention, or technical problems, or in the event that the contest are unable to run as planned for any other reason, as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either i) suspend the Contest to address the impairment and them resume them in the manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules, or (ii) terminate the Contest.

    License. By entering the contest, Participant grants to Sponsor, and those authorized by Sponsor, a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual license to display, distribute, reproduce, and create derivative works of the entry, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or subsequently developed, for any and all purposes. Any image reproduced will include a Participant credit. Sponsor shall not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses.

    Release and Limitations of Liability. By participating in the Contest, Participants agree to release and hold harmless Sponsor, its Affiliates and Partners, and each and any of their respective officers, directors, employees, shareholders, representatives, and agents ("Released Parties") from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Contest or use of the submitted materials or the prizes (including any travel or activity related thereto), including but not limited to: i) any technical errors associated with the Contest including lost, interrupted or unavailable Internet Service Provider (ISP), network, server, wireless service provider, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone, cellular tower or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure, or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties; ii) unauthorized human intervention in the Contest; iii) mechanical, network, electronic, computer, human, printing, or typographical errors; iv) any other errors that may occur in the administration of the Contest, the announcement of the winner(s), the cancellation or postponement of the event, or in any Contest-related materials; or v) injury, death, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from Participant's participation in the Contest or acceptance, receipt or misuse of any prizes. Participants further agree that in any cause of action, the Released Parties liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Contest and in no event shall the Participant be entitled to receive attorney's fees. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest. Participant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.

    Disputes. Except where prohibited, each Participant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in Colorado. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, Participant's rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Colorado without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules. This Contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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