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Art Challenge

Do you love making art and using your imagination? So do we!

The Art Challenge:

In this activity, we'd like to challenge young explorers to think about and draw something. And after the Art Challenge is over, we'll select a few imaginative drawings to be featured on the NOAA SciJinks and NASA Space Place websites!

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

Art Challenge prompt:

Have you ever watched a lightning storm from your window at home? Did you know that scientists can use weather satellites to watch lightning from above, too?

In June 2024, the United States will be launching its latest weather satellite called GOES-U (GOES is short for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite). GOES-U will be the fourth and final satellite in the GOES-R group of satellites that keep an eye on Earth’s weather from space.

The information that GOES-U and its sister satellites collect is used in many ways! GOES-U will help meteorologists forecast the path of hurricanes, how strong severe thunderstorms can become, and when tornadoes will form. GOES-U will also help scientists “see” lightning and predict where it will strike.

Want to learn more about the GOES satellites? Meet a GOES-R Series weather satellite here!

Draw how you imagine lightning to look, either within the clouds or striking the ground, from above the sky or from your window. Use any materials you would like – crayons, markers, pencils, pens, aluminum foil, paint, yarn, or anything else you find. The sky's the limit!

Submit your artwork between 5/1/24 and 5/31/24. Selected art submissions will appear on the website in early June!

Watch this video to learn about what causes lightning! Click here to download this video (1920x1080, 102 MB, video/mp4).

Want to launch your learning and zap your knowledge of lightning? GOES to this article and check out the video and poster to learn more about lightning!

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!

Art Challenge Selections

Draw what your space weather report would look like!

Painted illustration of the Sun, Moon, and other planets with text, “Solar storm alert.” In the center of the painting, the Moon, painted gray, moves across the Sun’s face, creating an eclipse. A distant satellite, some abstract animals, and other planets populate the painting. The background is dark blue.

Alder, 9

Painted illustration of an emerging eclipse in space with text, “Warning: Space Solar Eclipse in: 02:06.” In this painting, the Moon overlaps with the Sun’s face, creating a solar eclipse. White paint speckles the black background, representing distant stars.

Amelia, 10

Painted illustration of the Moon passing in front of the Sun, creating a solar eclipse. Splattered paint on top of the eclipse and black space background represents distant stars and space debris.


Painted illustration of the Moon passing in front of the Sun, creating a solar eclipse. Yellow dots scattered around the black space background represent distant stars. “Space Weather Alert” is written in cursive at the top of the painting.


Illustration of three people and watching an eclipse in Chichen Itza, Mexico. El Castillo, Chichen Itza’s main monument, rises from the horizon in the background. In the sky, there is a large red eclipse. One of the people holds a child, while another takes a photo of the eclipse on their phone.

Danae, 8

Illustration of a GOES-R satellite saying, “Today there is going to be a big solar storm!!!” The GOES-R satellite orbits a blue and green Earth, while the Sun and Mercury are on the right side of the drawing.

Dravn, 7

An illustration of a person inside of a scientific-looking laboratory with different technological features, such as monitors. Behind the person, at the very end of the laboratory, the artist has drawn various planets and a distant galaxy.

Eddie, 16

Illustration of a solar eclipse with text written in cursive, “Space weather alert! There is a solar eclipse going on!” In the center of the drawing, a cratered Moon moves across the Sun’s face, creating a solar eclipse. The background of the illustration is black with scattered multi-colored diamonds representing stars. A small gray satellite flies by the right side of the active eclipse.

Elladya, 9

Painting showing a solar eclipse in space and people watching from Earth.

Henry, 9

Abstract painting of an annular solar eclipse above a blue telescope. In the bottom left corner, a text box says, “Weather alert! Warning! Do not look at the Sun!”

Huck, 11

An illustration of solar eclipse against a blue background.


Abstract pencil and marker drawing of a solar storm.

Isaias, 9

Painting of an annular eclipse titled, “Space Weather Alert”. White paint splatter against the black background represents distant stars.

Jonathan, 11

Abstract pastel drawing of silhouettes of people looking up at the Sun and the sky. One person points up toward the sky.

Jose, 12

Abstract drawing of a person’s hand, numbers, the Sun, and a warning sign.

Kayden, 11

Comic of the Sun, Moon, and Earth interacting during an annular eclipse. The Earth has a small speech bubble that says, “I can still see the light!” while the Moon says, “Haha I’m blocking you Sun, I’m bigger and better… You guys aren’t funny, I’m leaving”. The Moon has a mustache. The large, smiling Sun says, “Cool, it doesn’t do anything!”


Abstract painting of a solar eclipse with text, “Solar eclipse happening now”.

Lucas, 9

Abstract drawing of an annular solar eclipse inside of a black box with scattered dots.

Lydia, 11

Abstract painting of the Moon and Sun in space with cursive writing, “Movement of the Moon… Solar eclipse.”

McKenzie, 9

Abstract drawing comparing when the Sun is “calm” versus when the Sun is “mad”.

Nolan, 10

A colored pencil and marker drawing of a turtle. The smiling turtle’s shell is Earth – there are green continents and blue oceans. On top of the turtle’s shell is an annular solar eclipse.

Samuel, 10

Abstract illustration of a satellite, the Sun, and various activities on Earth.

Sebastian, 7

Painting of a satellite interpreting data from the Sun’s activity and communicating the information to people on Earth. When there is a solar storm, sometimes, the radiation released by the Sun can interfere with our radio communications here on Earth. This is represented in the drawing by a person trying to use a computer and it isn’t working.

Sofia, 13

Pencil and marker drawing of a meteorologist in a red shirt pointing at a six-day space weather forecast. On the fourth day in the forecast, the Moon appears in front of the Sun, representing an eclipse.

Winston, 11

Abstract illustration of a smiling Sun with rosy cheeks surrounded by multicolored dots and a shooting star against a blue background.

Ximena, 6