New update regarding the Your Shot community platform. Please read this discussion post for more details.
arrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upchevron-upchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upclosecomment-newemail-newgallerygridheadphones-newheart-filledheart-openmap-geolocatormap-pushpinArtboard 1Artboard 1Artboard 1minusng-borderpauseplayplusreplayscreenArtboard 1sharefacebookgithubArtboard 1Artboard 1linkedinlinkedin_inpinterestpinterest_psnapchatsnapchat_2tumblrtwittervimeovinewhatsappspeakerstar-filledstar-openzoom-in-newzoom-out-new

Look Up

This assignment ran from Nov 13 to Dec 7, 2018.

I am often asked what I felt looking down at the Earth while orbiting our planet on the Space Shuttle Endeavour. It was mesmerizing to see places I had been or wanted go pass beneath the window. I was moved to see my hometown of Chicago from the vantage point of space. Yet, I am also struck by how exhilarating it is to look, from down here on Earth, up into space—whether thru the brilliant blue of midday or the star strewn sky of the deepest night.

From our homes on this amazing planet upon which we all came to life, we can see a universe almost infinitely larger than we can imagine. Being in space confirmed for me that both are part of us: the Earth and the greater universe. And across the globe, that which connects us one to each other, to the Earth and to the universe –is the sky.

That is the subject of this Look Up Your Shot assignment. Take a photo that conveys the intimate relationship between humanity, the Earth, the universe and the connecting sky. Whether in the sprawl of urban landscapes, rural villages or the barren desert, this task asks that you capture the feelings and awareness when you actively look up.

The essence of this assignment revolves around the Look Up initiative that debuted October 2018. Originating with LeVar Burton, Dr. Jill Tarter and me, at its core, Look Up is based on the idea that the simple act of looking up and sharing what we see and feel can help us, humans, regain a sense of self, place, belonging and responsibility in a world that is too large and too small, too noisy and too isolating, resource rich and resource limited, welcoming yet unforgiving of biophysical excesses. Day or night, dusk or dawn, cloudy or clear, the sky is the portal across the planet and beyond.

Curated by:

Mae Jemison
Astronaut, Engineer, and Educator

Matt Adams
Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
Assignment Status
  • Open

    Everyone’s welcome to contribute their best shot to open assignments. Learn more.
  • Closed

    Completed assignments—with our favorite photos included—will be published online. Learn more.
  • Published

    Once the submission period is over, we'll review all contributions and select our favorite images to be included in the story. Learn more.
Published Dec 28, 2018.
Thank you for your contributions!

Look Up Story

Posted dec 21, 2018

Dear Your Shot Photographers,

Thank you for all the incredible submissions to the The Look Up Assignment. The assignment is closed for new submissions on the National Geographic Your Shot website but there is still time to become a part of the global Sky TapestryTM by uploading your images to the free SkyfieTM app. The Sky TapestryTM features images, videos and text from users around the world celebrating a connection to the sky and to the greater universe. Content uploaded using SkyfieTM is positioned on the interactive globe based on the upload location to be appreciated by other SkyfieTM users worldwide. Remember to use the code “UrShot” when submitting your photo through SkyfieTM. Photos submitted through the free SkyfieTM app using the code UrShot will receive special recognition and a surprise from Dr. Mae Jemison. The SkyfieTM app is available now for free on Google Play and the App Store.

The final Look Up story will be published Monday, December 24th, at 12pm EST.

Thank you,

Dr. Mae Jemison

Fourth Submission

Posted dec 5, 2018

Hello all,

We are now adding a fourth submission to this assignment. We have just a little over 24 hours left before this assignment closes, so prepare for those final submissions. 

Thank you!

Assignment Update

Posted nov 27, 2018

Hello everyone! Thank you for all of your submissions so far to the Look Up assignment. Recently Dr. Mae Jemison has been delayed with a family issue, so I am helping as a co-editor with this assignment. Dr Mae will be working with me to select the final images for the story and will still be checking in with us as the duration for submissions is still open. We will be adding a few more days to the closure of this assignment as well since there was a delay in adding Editor's Favorites.

Thank you all for your understanding. 


Matt Adams

Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

MARS: Season 2

Posted nov 13, 2018

The atmosphere is changing. There is a new season of the acclaimed series MARS, produced by the National Geographic Channel. The guest curator for this assignment, Dr. Mae Jemison, is a technical advisor for the show in which you can view Mondays at 9/8 c on the National Geographic Channel. In recognition of the premiere of the second season of MARS see if you are able to get creative and capture an image of the planet during the assignment. 

National Geographic is hosting a yearlong celebration of space with  Starstruck. Check out Starstruck for more information regarding space, Mars, the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, and our in-depth articles containing information on how science and innovation is changing space travel. 

Skyfie App

Posted nov 13, 2018

Interested in using the app that inspired this assignment Look Up? Use the free mobile Skyfie app available for both iOS and Android, to take your photo and have it immediately displayed on the Sky Tapestry. Put in the code ‘UrShot’ when you submit the Skyfie photo on the app. There will be special acknowledgements for the most compelling images taken with the Skyfie app. All images taken with the Skyfie app can be saved into your mobile devices photo gallery and also uploaded to Your Shot via the website.

Mae Jemison

Mae Jemison

Astronaut, Engineer, and Educator
Astronaut, engineer, entrepreneur, physician and educator, Dr. Mae Jemison is at the forefront of integrating the physical and social sciences with art and culture to solve problems and foster innovation. Jemison leads 100 Year Starship® (100YSS), a nonprofit global initiative to assure that capabilities for human travel beyond our solar system to another star exist within the next 100 years while transforming life on Earth. 100YSS, started thru a competitive seed-funding grant from DARPA, pushes for radical leaps in knowledge, technology and human systems Jemison served six years as a NASA astronaut and was the first woman of color in the world to go into space aboard a joint space shuttle mission with the Japanese space agency.

Matt Adams

Matt Adams

Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
Matt is a Senior Producer on the Your Shot team. He curates and produces the Daily Dozen gallery as well as monthly assignments. Before Nat Geo, Matt was a photography instructor and freelance photographer working for publications such as Wired, Spin, and Pittsburgh Magazine.