Competition winners to receive photographs signed by Tim Peake

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.

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.

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