On Saturday, October 28, the Blaauw Observatory of the University of Groningen will
open its doors
during the 13th Night of Nights. Young and old are welcome to come and have a look through a telescope and to participate in many astronomical activities. The Night of Nights is coordinated each year by the Nature and Environment Federations to call attention to the beauty of the dark night sky and the hazards of light pollution.
Throughout the country, hundreds of nightly activities are organized and everyone is invited to turn offthe light and enjoy the beauty of the night. The Blaauw Observatory also partakes in this initiative.
Visitors are invited for stargazing through several telescopes
in the Blaauw Observatory (if weather permits). Some objects to observe will be the Moon, star clusters and binary stars like
Albireo and Epsilon Lyra. Even if the weather is not cooperating, the observatory can be visited for a guided tour. In this case beautiful pictures of the universe made with the Gratama Telescope of the Blaauw Observatory are shown.
There are also various indoor activities for young and old. Astronomer Jeffrey Bout gives a children’s lecture at 19:00 about the successful Cassini space mission to Saturn, which ended last month. In the Kapteyn Mobile Planetarium you may join a virtual journey to Saturn with the Cassini space probe and see awe-inspiring images of Saturn with its rings and moons, projected onto a dome around you. Children (up to 12 years) can also play in the craft corner where they can create their own model of Saturn.
At 20:00 , in the Astronomy News professor Mariano Mendez explains about the recent observation of gravity waves from two colliding neutron stars (in English). Emeritus and honorary professor Henk Broer of the Johann Bernoulli Institute talks at 20:30 about the Galilean dance of the four moons Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto around Jupiter (in Dutch). Animation studio Happy Ship presents Windup Planets: a Virtual Reality game in which you windup planets around the Sun and can get a feel of how the solar system is assembled and how gravity works. The university science center, Science LinX, provides interactive experiments in their science exhibition.
This public night will take place in the Bernoulliborg, Nijenborgh 9 on the Zernike Campus in Groningen. The observatory will be open from 18:00 to 23:00. Admission is free for all activities.
Guided tours in the observatory and planetariumshows are available in both Dutch and English.
Signing up is recommended at
This event is organized by the
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
University of Groningen and
SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research
, in cooperation with the
Nature and Environment Federations
Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy (KNVWS)
Dutch Youth Association for Astronomy (JWG)
More information about all activities of the Night of Nights is available at
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