Family Astronomy Club – The Year So Far

On Tuesday 4th October, the first day of World Space Week 2016, we held our first astronomy club of the new academic year. Following the theme of World Space Week Miss Ellender and Miss Harrington gave a talk on remote sensing and how we gather information about the Earth.

This was followed by our budding astronomers played the part of astronauts aboard the ISS, trying to find landmarks on Earth to ‘photograph’. Some locations, such as the Statue of Liberty and the London Eye were found with ease but others, such as the Pyramids of Giza and Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), proved more elusive. The competition to be the fastest to locate the landmarks was fierce but in the end, Henry Dean’s passion for Geography gave him the edge and he was crowned the victor.

After the competition we took advantage of a rare cloud-free night and used our main telescope to observe Saturn and its rings, a very successful first astronomy club for all.

Our second family astronomy club was held on Tuesday 1st November and was themed ‘Spooky Space’ to honour the recent Halloween festivities. Miss Ellender started the talk with some spooky images taken of objects in space, from the ‘Woman on Mars’ to the ‘Pumpkin Sun’. This was then followed by a rather tricky quiz led by Miss Harrington on the spooky sounds made throughout the Solar System. Although one of our teams was disappointed to discover that ET was not the cause of any of our sounds I think we were all in agreement that there are some pretty creepy radio signals given out by the objects in our Solar System.

Once again we were blessed by a cloud free night and this time Mr Perkins pointed our telescope at M57 (Ring Nebula) giving our astronomers the opportunity to practice averted vision, an important observational skill in astronomy.

The next family astronomy club will be held on Thursday 8th December and will be our annual Christmas Quiz – come along, have a go and see if you can earn a spot in the ‘I Beat Mr Perkins At The Christmas Quiz’ hall of fame.

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About mpole2011

An astronomical observatory at The Long Eaton School, scheduled to open in early 2012
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