NASA Space Place Art Challenge!

An illustration of a paintbrush painting a galaxy.

Do you love making art and using your imagination? So do we! Every NASA mission starts with a creative idea about how to explore something in a new way.

The art challenge:

In this new activity, we'd like to challenge young explorers to think about and draw a space-related situation each month. And after the month is over, we'll select a few imaginative drawings to be featured on the NASA Space Place website!

So, get ready to exercise that creative brain of yours! Here's what you'll need:

  • Paper
  • Art supplies (pencils, markers, crayons, paints – whatever you like to use)
  • A grownup helper with a camera or scanner and access to email

Space Place art challenge prompt:

Get ready: It’s time for an annular solar eclipse!

For information on how to safely view a solar eclipse, visit the NASA Solar Eclipse safety page.

On Oct. 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will cross North, Central, and South America. This eclipse will be visible for millions of people in the Western Hemisphere.

What is an annular solar eclipse?

An annular solar eclipse looks like a ring of light around the Moon. It happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, but when the Moon is at or near its farthest point from Earth. This means that the Moon appears smaller than the Sun and does not completely cover the Sun.

The Moon travels from right to left over Earth’s curved horizon, briefly covering the sun to reveal a “ring of fire” around the Moon as it obscures most of the Sun.

An annular solar eclipse provides us with an opportunity to observe the Sun in a unique way. However, scientists are always watching our closest star!

Activity on the Sun’s surface creates a type of weather called space weather. Space weather is serious stuff­–it can even damage satellites and cause electrical blackouts on Earth!

But don’t worry: we have instruments monitoring the Sun and space weather. They provide information that helps scientists to send alerts that can help prevent any damage. (Learn more about how scientists study space weather during solar eclipses on this NOAA annular eclipse page!)

Some of these helpful instruments are on board NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) R-series, which orbits 22,000 miles above Earth!

This month’s prompt: Imagine you’re a scientist in charge of creating a space weather report for people planning to view the upcoming eclipse. How would you let people know it’s a calm day for the Sun? How would you let them know there’s a solar storm? Draw what your space weather report would look like!

Submit your artwork to Space Place’s Art Challenge between 9/28/23 and 10/22/23. Selected art submissions will appear on the website in late October.

How to submit your art:

Once you've gotten your ideas on the page, have a grownup take a photo or scan of the drawing and email the following to

That's it! Have fun creating and we can't wait to see your drawings!

This Month's Art Challenge Selections

Submit a poem about Earth!

Poem and illustration about Earth. At the top of the page is a drawing of two people standing outside beside two apple trees. The stick figures with blond hair stand below clouds, drawn in pencil. They stand to the left of two apple trees, one taller and wider than the other. The trunks are colored brown. The apples are bright red. Below the illustration is the accompanying poem. The poem reads, Earth has oceans. Apple trees. Robins feed babies. Thunder and lightning. Has animals. The poem is written in pencil.

Dimitra, 4

Poem about Earth on top of a cut-out illustration of Earth. The artist created this piece by printing out a typed poem and cutting out each line of the poem. They pasted each phrase onto their drawing of Earth that is cut into a circle. The poem reads, Earth, Beautiful, plentiful, Changing, rotating, spinning, Mountains, people, water, plants, Floating, moving, flying, Graceful, peaceful, Planet. Earth is colored blue and green using colored pencils.

Panagiota, 8

Poem about Earth accompanied by doodles. The poem reads, I love the Earth so much. I love the Earth so much. Why do we love the Earth? I know why we love the Earth. I love to grow plants. Let the animals live in the forest. Let the deers run, let the lions roar, let the fishes swim. Do not throw trash on the road. By keeping our mother Earth safe. I love the Earth so much. I love the Earth so much. I want to be an astronaut. So I can see mother Earth. Let us all love our planet Earth! The poem is written in marker and surrounded by some doodles. The doodles at the very bottom of the page, below the poem, show an astronaut in an orange suit holding a red flag and a green and blue smiling Earth extending its arms outwards. In the bottom right corner of the image is a smiling sun.

Aayansh, 8

A poem about Earth accompanied by an illustration of Earth. The poem is an acrostic poem (an acrostic poem is a poem in which the first letter of each new line spells out a word) and is written in pencil. The first letter of each new line spells out the word, Earth. The full poem reads, Every time Earth changes, as seasons grow, rain goes trickle trickle, the flowers and weeds grow, hard winter is around the corner. To the right of the poem is an illustration of Earth, drawn with colored pencils. The oceans are blue and the land masses of North and South America are green.

Aiden, 8

A poem about Earth Day. The poem reads, Happy Earth Day! Without water we cannot survive, Earth is the only planet where we can live. Because it is full of water. But of global warming it is getting hotter. That’s why all the water is getting vanished and our Earth is getting damaged. Please save water and plant a tree. Make a better home for you and me. Don’t throw waste on the way. Make every day an Earth day, a green day. Save our planet Earth!

Parineeka, 11

A poem about the Earth accompanied by an abstract illustration. The poem is written in black marker and reads, The Earth is small but its Moon is smaller. But in my heart I create art. I love my Earth.

Dravn, 7


I hereby grant to the California Institute of Technology (Institute) and its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) the right to make, use, create derivative works and/or display:

  1. photos, video and/or audio tape recordings of, my Child and/or
  2. artwork (in any media, including drawings, photos, music and video creations) created by my Child and submitted to JPL and/or

in any manner or form, and for any lawful purpose at any time. I also grant the Institute to use my Child's name associated with such photos, recordings of my Child or with his/her artwork. I understand that my Child may be photographed and/or video or audio taped verbatim and that the Institute may allow persons external to the Institute to view the pictures or recordings in part or in their entirety. I also understand that any artwork submitted by my Child to the Institute for the Project may be edited, reproduced or displayed publicly at the Institute's discretion. I am fully aware and agree that such use of my Child's image or artwork and name may include posting on publicly available internet sites, including JPL sites and other publicly viewable social media sites. I waive any right that I may have to review or approve of any finished products, or the uses to which such products may be applied. I release and discharge the Institute, its employees, sponsors, and subcontractors from any liability to me by virtue of any representation that may occur in the creation, editing or use of said photos and/or video or audio tape recordings or the editing or use of my Child's artwork.

article last updated September 28, 2023
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