News & Events

Illuminate Art Competition: Winners Announced

11th October 2007

The University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory will be holding special events on Friday 16th November 2007 and Friday 14th December 2007 as part of the year-long celebrations of the iconic Lovell Telescope's 50th anniversary. The aim of the events is to inspire, educate and involve school children and the public in the appreciation and practice of science and engineering.

The events consist of an Art Competition, the winners of which will see their work projected onto the 5000m2 surface of the Lovell radio telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory. The winning entries will be displayed at up to 150 foot high and be visible for miles around!

The competition rules required that submitted artwork reflect an element of the engineering aspects of astronomy and space research, space exploration or the history of the Lovell telescope. The combination of these themes with the theme of 'Light' (i.e. relating to the 'Diwali' festival or the 'Christmas' period) were particularly encouraged. One winner and one runner-up in each age-related category, for each of the 'Diwali' and 'Christmas' projection events, have won the chance of seeing their artwork projected onto the surface of the Lovell radio telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory. Winners and runners-up will also receive a Winner's Pack, Competition Certificate and a Photograph of their artwork projected onto the Lovell telescope. The winners of the competition have now been announced and are shown in the table below.

Entry to the events is FREE for everyone and will include observatory tours, lectures, exhibitions, 3D-theatre shows, planetarium shows and rocket demonstrations. Tickets can be obtained by contacting the Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre on 01477 571339 or Jodrell Bank Observatory on 01477 571321. For both events, doors open at 7:00pm. Activities begin at 7:15pm and the projection event and prize awards will begin at approximately 9:00pm. The event should finish by about 10:00pm.

The first event, on 16th November 2007, is scheduled to coincide with the Hindu 'Festival of Light', or 'Diwali'. This festival symbolises the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. In Britain, as in India, the festival is often celebrated by decorating buildings with lights, a theme ideally suited to the projection event in November. It is also traditional to celebrate the Christmas period with light, so this theme will be continued into our final 50th anniversary event of 2007, on Friday 14th December.

The Lovell radio telescope at Jodrell Bank became operational in October 1957 and its very first use was to track the carrier rocket that launched Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite. Hence, the telescope's golden jubilee also marks fifty years of the Space Age. Jodrell Bank was heavily involved in the early exploration of space, tracking both US and Russian space probes. In fact, the telescope received the very first pictures transmitted from the far side of the Moon in 1959, and the first pictures from the surface of the Moon in 1966. The 50th anniversary thus represents an excellent opportunity to celebrate both the achievements of mankind's exploration of space, the engineering that made this possible and the huge advances in technology that have occurred since. This competition aims to inspire the public to think about the engineering involved in astronomy, space research and space exploration.

These events are run by the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory in conjunction with The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) 'Ingenious' grants programme. The RAE 'Ingenious' grants programme, funded by the Office of Science and Innovation within the DTI, offers funding to promote open debate and dialogue between citizens and engineers on engineering issues of public interest and concern. See


'Diwali' Event
(16th November 2007)
'Christmas' Event
(14th December 2007)
Age GroupWinnersWinners
0-5Winner: Polly Nevin
Runner-up: Jacob Gore
Winner: Rachel Roberts
Runner-up: Georgina Bloomfield
6-7Winner: Fureya Nelson-Riggott
Runner-up: Abigail Burkinshaw
Winner: Alia Nelson-Riggott
Runner-up: Joanna Healiss
8-11Winner: Amy Booth, Teana Hughes, Ellen Sheriff, Kate Goulding, Claire Snelling
Runner-up: Courtney Thorpe
Winner: Annabel Crerar
Runner-up: Lydia Sanlon
12-15Winner: Katie Harries
Runner-up: Emma Beswick
Winner: Ben Ladley
Runner-up: Stefano Sivori
16+Winner: Marea Atkinson
Runner-up: Julie Smith
Winner: Eileen Barrett
Runner-up: Ms Hart


Dr Alastair Gunn
Event Manager
Jodrell Bank Observatory
Tel: 01477 571321

Dr Tim O'Brien
Head of Outreach
Jodrell Bank Observatory
Tel: 01477 571321