kernow astronomers

Stargazing Live January 10th 2014

Stargazing hall

With all astronomy events, the weather can have a significant effect on proceedings but the second ‘Stargazing Live’ event to be held at St. Columb Major Academy by Kernow Astronomers was another great success despite continual cloud cover all evening.

The planned celestial viewing had to be abandoned without a single telescope being turned towards the heavens but a wide variety of information boards, activities and presentations kept the 250 or so visitors actively engaged and interested throughout the evening.

boards

The main hall of the school was full of displays of all things astronomical. Displays of ‘How Big’ are the planets of the Solar System, ‘How Far’ are celestial object across the Universe, what are asteroids and comets or how do you discover exoplanets, are just a few of the topics.

Orrary 

 Mechanical orraries demonstrated the orbits of the planets whilst a home built rig of radio receiver and ‘Yagi’ antenna showed how to do astronomy when the weather is not kind (or in the daytime) by listening to radio waves reflected from meteors.

Telescope making using simple lenses and cardboard tubes was a favourite with the kids, as was using real scopes to try to find photos of planets and the Moon pasted around the walls of the hall.telescope making

Members of the club were also on hand to help explain the various topics and to discuss and demonstrate the various types of telescope they had on display.

In one nearby classroom, a rolling slideshow of photos taken by the club members was interspersed with time lapse videos showing views from the Space Station, Aurorae and the passage of the night sky over Cornwall.

 

  Something new for this year was a succession of short talks given in another classroom, covering the topics of the Sun, the Moon and the Planets which attracted good audiences from the enthusiastic visitors.talk

All in all, a good evening was had by all. Let’s hope that next year the weather is kind so some real astronomical viewing can be added to the evening.

 

  

Click here for more photos of the event