Winners of children’s competition to receive photographs signed by Tim Peake

Posted by pt91 at Sep 29, 2016 03:20 PM |
Event on 1 October to present photographs taken by astronauts of locations chosen by children from across the UK

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 29 September 2016

Photo/filming opportunity: media who wish to attend the event should arrive at the National Space Centre reception between 5.30pm and 6pm. Register you attendance at or

Images, including the winning photographs, are available with captions from:

Children will be awarded their chosen photographs taken by astronauts at a ceremony at the National Space Centre this week.

The nationwide EO Detective competition for children run by the National Centre of Earth Observation (NCEO) at the University of Leicester is the first time that UK children have been able to choose targets on the Earth for astronauts to photograph.

The children’s prizes – photographs of the areas they wanted to investigate, signed by British European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake – will be presented at a ceremony on Saturday 1 October 2016 at the National Space Centre. This coincides with the start of World Space week, which will be marked with a World Space Evening at the National Space Centre.

Children were invited to enter the competition, which was funded by UK Space Agency and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) as part of the Principia mission education programme, during Peake’s stay on the International Space Station (ISS). They had to explain where on Earth they would like an astronaut to photograph and what they hoped the image would reveal about our planet.

During his six-month mission, Tim Peake regularly shared his stunning pictures of the Earth on social media and noted on Twitter (May 19) that there is: “Simply never a dull moment looking out of the window ... planet Earth is mesmerising!”

There were around a thousand entries coming from Inverness to Jersey, from Belfast to Norwich, and an extra category had to be added for younger children.

Libby Jackson, Astronaut Flight Education Programme Manager at UK Space Agency, who will present the prizes, said: “We had no idea how many entries there would be for the competition, or how many people it would appeal to. As well as the children, hundreds of others, from countries across the world, offered suggestions in reply to Tim’s messages about the competition on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”

Senior NCEO staff including the Director, Professor John Remedios of the University of Leicester, judged the competition and had great difficulty selecting the four winners because of the wide range of locations and the interesting reasons entrants gave for choosing them.

The winning entries described clever ways to use photographs to investigate deforestation in Brazil, the expansion of a refugee camp in Jordan, an intermittent lake in Australia, and methane emissions near pig farms in Indiana.

Remedios says: “This prize-giving is a celebration of the wealth of information that you can get from space and of children’s creativity. Tim Peake’s mission has inspired a generation: from our side it has been exciting to work with schools and space agencies to realise the children’s ideas.”

UK scientists use imagery taken from space, including astronaut photography, every day in their work to better understand aspects of the Earth’s changing environment – from weather and climate to animal migration. Tim Peake’s stay on the ISS provided a chance to celebrate the strength of space science research in the UK and inspire a new generation of scientists who will use Earth observation data.

Images to inspire students and other updates are posted regularly on Twitter by @EODetective ( For further information please contact


Notes for editors


Professor John Remedios, Director of NCEO,

PA: Jane Hull;

For further information about the competition and resources please contact Catherine Fitzsimons, National Centre for Earth Observation; Email: (Monday and Wednesday) or Rosie Leigh Email: (Tuesday to Friday)

Award-winning entries:

A complete list of winners and runners-up, and an outline of their requests, can be found on the NCEO website (

Further detail about each of the award-winning entries (i.e. from winners and runners up) and the prizes are available from

Images & captions:

For use in news media publications only with credit included.

Unless other links are given, images are available from:

along with the EO Detective logo (Credit: NCEO) and the promotional image used for the competition (Credit: Claire Burwell/NCEO)

Images of the children with their prizes will be added to this, and will be Credit: NCEO or National Space Centre as indicated

Further information:

1.     World Space Evening at National Space Centre (public event)

National Space Centre is celebrating World Space Week with a special evening of guest speakers, crafts, an EO Detective quiz and awards ceremony, stargazing, and a film showing of the Oscar winning movie Apollo 13. Details of the programme for the evening and tickets (£5 each, or £10 with the Apollo 13 film) are available from .

17:30                Doors open for World Space Evening

17:45                ‘Exploring the Realm of Giants’ talk by planetary scientist, Dr Leigh Fletcher, from the University of Leicester

18:15                 ‘Maps Without Borders’ by London designer Michael Pecirno

19:00                EO Detective quiz and award ceremony

19:45                Tour of the Night Sky in the planetarium

20:00 onwards    Stargazing with the Leicester Astronomical Society

20:30 onwards    Apollo 13 film (additional ticket required)

2.     Special programme at National Space Centre (for invitees only)

At the National Space Centre prize-giving there will be a presentation and quiz in the planetarium at 7 pm featuring spectacular images of the Earth taken by satellites and astronauts. Details of the programme for the evening and tickets (£5 each) are available from

17:00                Prizewinners, families and guests arrive for private reception in Shuttle suite

17:45                All free to explore Space Centre/attend talks in planetarium, stay & chat etc.

19:00                EO Detective quiz

19:20 approx      Presentation of prizes

19:45 prompt     Presentation ends

20:00                Photocall for winners, agency representatives and special guests by globe

20:00 onwards    Stargazing/explore Space Centre

3.     Tim Peake

Tim Peake is the first British ESA astronaut to live and work on the ISS. His mission, named Principia after Newton’s world-changing three-part text on physics, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, began on 15 December 2015 and he returned on 18 June 2016. Whilst on board the ISS he has used the unique environment of space to run experiments as well as trying out new technologies for future human exploration missions. More information about Tim’s mission and the wide variety of education projects running alongside it can be found on the Principia website:

4.     National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) and EO Detective

The National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) is the UK’s leading research centre for studying our planet using observations from satellites in space. The EO Detective competition highlighted NCEO’s suite of free classroom resources that were developed as part of an exciting programme of activities to help children get involved in Tim’s mission and are still available to support the teaching of maths, science, geography and computing at both primary and secondary levels.

NCEO’s EO Detective resources bring 50 years of astronaut photographs and satellite images of Earth into the classroom. Using these beautiful and interesting pictures, students of all ages can discover how earth observation scientists investigate our changing world while studying concepts that are part of their normal curriculum.

The first phase of the project included resources aimed at children from 7 to 14 that were used by thousands of children in hundreds of classrooms across the country. The UK Space Agency has provided funding to support the development of additional resources focussing on careers that employ earth observation data, and activities for younger children and families.

Sample activities are available on the Principia mission website and the complete set of resources can be obtained from the ESERO-UK Tim Peake page:

5.     The National Space Centre

The National Space Centre is the UK's largest visitor attraction dedicated to space.

The National Space Centre opened to the public in June 2001 and has welcomed over 3 million visitors, including over 600,000 school children.

The National Space Centre is the Millennium Commission landmark project for the East Midlands.  It was co-founded by The University of Leicester and Leicester City Council. Its other founding partners are BT and East Midlands Development Agency.

For further information, images, interviews or media opportunities please contact Dr Tamela Maciel on 0116 258 2145 or

6.     UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.  It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions.

The Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in the space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. It leads the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits to all citizens.

The UK Space Agency:

•       Co-ordinates UK civil space activity

•       Encourages academic research

•       Supports the UK space industry

•       Raises the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad

•       Increases understanding of space science and its practical benefits

•       Inspires our next generation of UK scientists and engineers

•       Licences the launch and operation of UK spacecraft

•       Promotes co-operation and participation in the European Space programme

7.     European Space Agency (ESA)

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space. ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA has 21 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 19 are Member States of the EU. One other Member State of the EU, Hungary, has signed the Accession Agreement to the ESA Convention and, upon ratification, will soon become the 22nd ESA Member State. ESA has established formal cooperation with seven other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement. ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities. Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. Learn more about ESA at

8.     The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We co-ordinate some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is a non-departmental public body. We receive around £370m of annual funding from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

9.     About the Leicester Institute for Space and Earth Observation

This new Institute brings together all the research work within the University of Leicester associated with Space (including astronomy and planetary science) and Earth Observation, which is spread across a number of Departments within the College of Science and Engineering: Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, Geology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The focus will be on Space/EO missions and instruments, Space & EO data and innovation. Expected outcomes will bring science leadership (mission scientists), alongside Engineering capability, and develop expertise on data analysis, data exploitation and leading technology that can be applied both within Space Research and outside in other areas e.g. medical devices and diagnosis (already underway).

Space was identified by the last Government as one of the eight great technologies and is seen as cross-cutting enabler of growth. The Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS) study in 2010 identified Space as a growth market with the target of £40 billion by 2030, 10% of world market. This growth needs to be underwritten by research. Having an integrated Space and Earth Observation Institute is timely as government actions continue to implement the IGS.

The University of Leicester has a long and distinguished record of discovery in space science. Every year since 1967 has seen a Leicester-built instrument operating in space. We hold, and have held, vital roles in many space missions for space agencies including NASA, European Space Agency, UK Space Agency, ISRO (India) and JAXA (Japan), covering astronomical, planetary and Earth observation science missions. These include NASA/ESA’s James Webb Space Telescope, ESA’s Bepi-Colombo mission, and ESA’s and EUMETSAT’s Meteosat Second Generation missions.

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