Young people between 7 and 15 years old, from across the UK, were invited to make or write something to help explain space weather to their peers. Activity on the Sun can affect the environment at or near the Earth, resulting in disruption to vital technological systems such as electric power and spacecraft operations.
Entries came from schools, girlguide groups, individuals and school science clubs. The judges, experts in the field of solar and heliospheric science, were hugely impressed by the quality and range of entries. Prizes were awarded to a short story, a research article, mixed media paintings and a cartoon, each of which described and explained aspects of space weather in a novel way.
Lucie Green, Professor of Physics at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory: “It was such a pleasure being one of the judges for this competition. There were many high calibre and creative pieces of art and writing that show just how space weather can impact us here on Earth."
The competition encouraged young people to combine scientific and artistic skills along with teamwork, whilst learning about natural phenomena and our place in the solar system. Entries had to show at least one real type of space weather, but could be fictional or based on true events.
Winners will receive a bundle of goodies from STFC RAL Space and the European Space Agency (ECSAT and Climate Office) as well as a chance to visit to one of only three space weather forecasting facilities in the world at the UK Met Office, which may be in person or virtual.
Comments from the rest of the expert judging panel:
Jackie Davies, Head of the Heliospheric Physics Group at RAL Space: "I would like to thank every one of the contributors for the enchanting time that I spent looking at your beautiful artwork and reading through your delightful presentations, poems and stories on space weather."
Helen Mason, Solar Scientist at the University of Cambridge: “It was a real pleasure to see the creative art and writing about Space Weather. The standard was very high and we had difficulty in picking out winners, all entries were amazing, so well done to everyone.”
Geraint Jones, Professor of Planetary Science at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory: "It was fantastic to review all the imaginative and artistic submissions to the competition; the high standard made it very difficult to choose between all the entries. Well done to all who took part!"