Alien of the year competition

The Alien of the Year competition has now closed. Thanks to all who entered, we’ve seen a great cross section of designs and will be picking winners on Thursday 7 October!



Were you at our Alien of the Year workshop at Birmingham’s Central Library? Have a look for the photo of your designhere


Here at Sounds of Space Mission Control, we know that aliens come in all shapes and sizes and with many special powers and interesting features. Check out ET, Mr Spock, Yoda and even Doctor Who for starters!

We?ve been wondering if there is a perfect alien out there – one that might win an intergalactic beauty contest or appear on the front of Martian Weekly or the 6pm Solar System News.

Maybe he, she or it has six tentacles, two mouths and very long legs, or maybe they just look like a human – perhaps with an extra eye to help spot incoming meteors.

To try and solve this quantum question, we?re organising the Alien of the Year competition – and we want to see your designs!


Any human beings from the known solar system can enter the competition and be in with a chance of winning one of the following cosmic prizes:

A private and personalised tour of Birmingham’s Planetarium courtesy ofThinktank

We’ve teamed up with Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum to offer a prize that really is ?out of this world?. We are offering the winner and their family a very special, private Planetarium show, based around the stars that were in the night sky on any given day in history. This could be a family birthday, anniversary or any other day of the year you choose.

In this one-off bespoke show at Birmingham?s first ever Planetarium, Mario Di Maggio, Planetarium Manager will help you explore the night sky, point out some easy-to-see objects and constellations that were on show on that day, and explain some basic astronomy concepts. The date and time for this special Planetarium show will be arranged to suit the winner.

A signed limited edition alien artwork from acclaimed sci-fi artistDavid A. Hardy

David A. Hardy is the oldest-established space artist now living, having produced his first published work in 1952. He has been freelance since 1965 before which he was an illustrator at Cadbury’s (following an earlier brief career in science and then two years in the RAF).

He illustrated his first book for Patrick Moore in 1954, and has worked with him ever since, both on books and on the Sky at Night TV programme, on which David has also appeared in person three times. In 2004, to celebrate this, they published FUTURES: 50 Years in Space. He has written and illustrated about a dozen of his own books, either as sole author or in collaboration, and has a published novel: Aurora: A Child of Two Worlds.

He has also worked on films, such as The Neverending Story, TV, record sleeves, video and computer games.

Family tickets for theNational Space Centre and Thinktank

The National Space Centre is the UK?s largest visitor attraction dedicated to space and space exploration, welcoming around a quarter of a million visitors each year since its opening in June 2001. Since then the centre has hosted an amazing variety of events ranging from visits from legendary astronauts such as Buzz Aldrin, Helen Sharman, Michael Foale, and Piers Sellars to various events such as Star Wars and Doctor Who.

Thinktank redefines the concept of a science museum. Think of it more as a way to discover the world around you and the life you lead. From steam engines to intestines, this exciting museum has over 200 hands-on displays on science and technology including a state-of-the-art Planetarium and IMAX Cinema.

More inter-planetary prizes to be announced!


PHASE 1: Design research & development

Design your Alien of the Year entry any way you like – sketch it, paint it, sculpt it, build it out of old moon rocks or space dust if you can get your hands on any. Be creative and inventive…and surprise us!

PHASE 2: Share your design

Take a photo or video of your Alien of the Year design and share it with the Sounds of Space Mission Control team via any or all of the following:

Facebook Sounds of Space page
Twitter Sounds of Space account
Flickr Sounds of Space group
Vimeo Sounds of Space group

You must tag or caption your photo or video with your first name, age and location only – if you prefer not to sign up to any of the websites above, send your design to us we?ll upload it for you!

PHASE 3: Into Orbit

Look out for your Alien of the Year design on Sounds of Space Tumblr

Winners will be chosen by science fiction author Professor Ian Stewart before the What Would A Martian Look Like talk at Symphony Hall on Thursday 7 October 2010.

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