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:

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! You might want to print off some of these space-themed Valentine cards to send to the special people in your life!

3 Valentine cards next to each other left to right. The first says 'You warm my Heart!' and has an illustration of a smiling Sun. The second says 'Best friends forever!' and has an illustration of the Earth and Moon smiling at each other. The third says 'You'll always be in my heart!' and has an illustration of Pluto smiling with a heart-shaped formation below its smile.

Click here to print these NASA Space Place Valentine's Day cards and give them to family and friends!

As another way to celebrate, we want you to design a Valentine card for your favorite planet, moon, or star and submit your creation to our art challenge! Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Mars, you are MARS-velous!
  • Dear Sun, you brighten my day!
  • Earth, you mean the WORLD to me!
  • You’re pretty cool, Saturn. Can I RING you sometime? (Get it?!)

Submit your drawings between 1/17/23 and 2/10/23. Selected art submissions will appear on the website in mid-February!

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

Draw how the holiday season is celebrated differently across the world because of different seasons!

This illustration shows a tree during four different phases. A dark silhouette of a tree and its branches stretch throughout the illustration. The background of the illustration is divided into four quadrants. The bottom left quadrant is painted orange and yellow, resembling a sunset. The tree's branches are decorated with small pink berries. In the background, behind the tree, mountains, a setting sun, and birds flying above the sun are seen. The top left quadrant shows the tree during winter snow. The background of this quadrant is painted a dreary gray and the branches of the tree can be seen accumulating snow. The artist painted white snow fall, along with three cardinals perched on the tree's branches. The top right quadrant shows the tree during the spring. The tree's branches are decorated with blooming pink flowers against a light baby blue background. Two blue butterflies are seen flying between the branches. The bottom right quadrant shows the tree during the evening, The background is painted a dark dawn blue, and there are yellow spots decorating the branches.

Aarna, 10

This image shows the difference between the Northern and Southern hemispheres' celebrations of the New Year. In the center of the image is an illustration of the Earth. Other illustrations surround the Earth, like the Sun, a palm tree, a snowman, and a Christmas tree.

Alisha, 5

This illustration shows a New Years' celebration in Paris, France. In the background of this illustration is a dark blue evening sky. Purple, green, yellow, and orange fireworks decorate the sky. The Eiffel Tower is also seen standing tall in the background. A man with brown-orange pants, a light blue shirt, and black shoes and a hat is pictured playing a yellow saxophone on the right side of the foreground of the image. The left side of the foreground of the image shows a woman with blue pants, a purple shirt, and black hair reading a book with a red cover. She is sitting on a black stool and leaning on a black table.

Anushka, 12

This illustration is titled, 'Australia Christmas'. This illustration creates the illusion of a scrapbook. In the center of the picture is a series of three illustrations that resemble photographs that could have been taken on a family vacation to Australia during the holidays. The top image shows a snowman made of sand sitting on the beach. The 'sandman' is wearing a red Santa hat. The image in the middle shows three decorated Christmas tree ornaments with a little koala head peeking out behind the striped ornament. The bottom image shows footsteps in the sand, as well as a red spotted Santa hat. The artist decorated the rest of the illustration with drawings of a roll of tape, clear glue, a pink eraser, a pencil, and light blue scissors.

Araely, 12

This illustration shows a wintery Christmas scene. The foreground shows snowy dunes with two red and one green wrapped boxes. Towards the background of the illustration shows a murky red wall with black outlines resembling a brick wall. On top of the wall is a snowman with an orange carrot and a black top hat. To the left of the snowman are two green Christmas trees decorated with red ornaments and a yellow star at the top. In the background, a small yellow house with a black roof is seen. Smoke appears to be coming out of the house's chimney. The sky is painted a light blue, and small yellow stars are scattered throughout the sky. A crescent moon is seen in the top left corner of the image.

Gianna, 11

This painting shows two people sitting on the ground, one arm around the other, looking out at the horizon. They are both wearing red Santa hats that form a heart between them because of the way the hats are positioned. The scene is cut down the middle to depict two different locations. The person on the left is sitting in the snow with a pine tree in the landscape and an aurora in the dark sky. The person on the right is sitting in the sand with a palm tree in the landscape and a sunset and flying birds in the distance.

Kathryn, 12

This image shows Santa, Rudolph, Santa’s elves, and a penguin playing a game of beach volleyball. There is a picture of the Earth in the top left corner of the illustration. A red arrow points to South Africa on the globe to demonstrate that this beach volleyball scene is occurring around Christmas time in South Africa. In this illustration, a red volleyball court separates two teams: Santa and Rudoph are one team, while four elves and a penguin are the other. The sand is colored a bright yellow, while the ocean and sky are blue. Santa is wearing striped blue beach shorts, and the penguin is wearing black sunglasses. The volleyball is in play above Santa and it appears as if Rudolph, who is wearing a red collar, is about to send it back over the net.

Keegan, 9

This drawing shows a family of four standing on the balcony of a building. The building is decorated with colorful lights and plants. In the night sky beyond the building, there are fireworks exploding. One of the family members is holding a sparkler and the other is holding a firework.

Kuhu, 8

This drawing shows four circles with different scenes in each. The top two circles are labeled 'USA'. The circle on the left is also labeled 'December' and contains a scene of Santa standing next to a snowman in the snow outside a house. The Circle on the right is also labeled 'June' and contains a scene of two people in bathing suits standing on a beach. The bottom two circles are labeled 'Australia'. The circle on the left is also labeled 'December' and contains a scene of Santa standing next to a snowman made out of sand on a sunny beach. The circle on the right is also labeled 'June' and contains a scene of a person hiking through the snow.

Naisha, 6

This illustration is a side-by-side demonstration of two holiday celebrations. On the left, a Hanukkah celebration is portrayed. Two menorahs, a dreidel, and a tree decorated with Hanukkah-themed ornaments are in the foreground. A string of multi-colored flags hang above the tree. On the right is a Christmas celebration on the beach. A snowman made out of sand wears a red Santa hat and sits on the sand. A palm tree, wrapped in multi-colored string lights and decorated with ornaments, sits next to the 'sandman'. In the background, the bright blue ocean and yellow sun are seen.

Sahaana, 9

This drawing shows a city square with a Christmas tree in the middle of the square decorated with colorful lights. At the top of the drawing, there is text that reads 'celebrating Christmas'. At the bottom of the drawing, there is text that reads 'Bassano Del Grappa Italy'.

Teo, 11

This drawing is split into 5 panels. The first panel shows the Sun and Earth, with the northern and southern hemispheres being labeled. There are also two drawings of Santa, one near the northern hemisphere dressed in warm clothes next to his sleigh and one near the southern hemisphere dressed in a bathing suit next to a scooter. The second panel shows a northern hemisphere scene of a person next to a decorated Christmas tree with presents underneath and snow and a snowman behind the tree. The third panel shows a southern hemisphere scene of two people at a cookout with a picnic table full of food and a barbecue. The fourth panel shows a southern hemisphere scene of two people walking toward a church on a sunny day. The fifth panel shows a southern hemisphere scene of a person on a beach containing beach gear and an ice cream stand.

Vibha, 5

This image shows a holiday celebration in Hawaii. A thin palm tree wrapped with multi-colored string lights is seen on the far left of the foreground. Next to the palm tree is a three-tiered sign that says, 'Mele Kalikimaka'. To the right of the sign is a white snowman. The snowman has black buttons, twig arms, a smile, a carrot nose, glasses, and a red Santa hat. The sand that all three of these elements sit on is painted a bright yellow. The background is painted a light blue, and the ocean’s darker blue color fades into the lighter sky. Four white clouds are seen floating in the sky above the snowman, and a bright yellow Sun shines in the top right corner of the illustration.



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article last updated January 17, 2023
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