Can you paint the Northern Lights? Or write a short story about what happens in a solar storm? Space weather events like these can affect our everyday lives, from interrupting our TV signals to creating beautiful views in the sky. We’d like to help more people learn about space weather and why it’s important, so we’re inviting teams of young people to get creative and make some space weather artwork and stories!
The competition is open to all young people across the UK in two age categories: 7-10 and 11-15 year olds. There are resources freely available to find out more about space weather topics and the wide variety of related careers.
Why take part
How to take part
What is space weather?
Weather describes the day to day changes in the Earth’s atmosphere, such as how hot or cold the air around us is. Space weather describes what happens much higher up and further away: in the upper atmosphere and out in space towards the Sun.
Sometimes the storms on the Sun can have an effect on the Earth’s protective upper atmosphere and magnetic field. The Sun can release material into space, which can lead to power cuts on Earth or disrupt our satellites and telecommunications.
The biggest space weather event ever recorded is the Carrington Event of 1859, when a very fast stream of material travelled to Earth and weakened the magnetic field that normally protects us. Telegraph systems across Europe and North America stopped working and it created the brightest-ever auroras worldwide.
If a storm that big happened today, lots of items we use every day wouldn’t work including anything that relies on the internet or GPS – mobile phone apps, card payments, television – as well as power grids that supply our homes and schools. The radiation from a storm could also be a problem for astronauts and airline crews. We think it’s important that people are aware of space weather and what the experts are doing to help keep us safe.
This November, people from across the world will get together at the online European Space Weather Symposium to talk about space weather. Scientists, engineers, satellite operators, power grid operators, people working in aviation and maritime, and space weather forecasters will discuss solutions to problems caused by space weather and ways to work together to reduce the impact of such events on our daily lives.