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Successful National Stargazing Days in Blaauw Observatory

31 March 2015

Over 280 interested people visited the Blaauw Observatory in Groningen during the 39th National Stargazing Days on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28, 2015. The theme of the public evenings was Spaceflight. It was quite cloudy, but the Moon and Jupiter luckily occasionally emerged from behind the clouds. This evoked enthusiastic responses from the visitors.

There were informative lectures about spaceflight and a special children’s lecture. In the Kapteyn mobile planetarium the full dome film Touching the edge of the universe told the story of space travel, from Galileo's time to today's most advanced space missions such as the Planck and Herschel space observatories.

In the exhibition Space Research in Groningen SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research showed a selection of their high-tech space instruments. Included was the original test model of the instrument HIFI, 'the molecule hunter', developed by SRON. V isitors were surprised that a satellite must be cooled because the space around the Earth is not completely cold. There was also much interest in the 3D model of the Herschel Space Observatory that Science LinX printed live during the evening. The 3D printing process took more than a day to complete .    

Children competed for a VIP observatory tour in the Star Quiz and launched their own mini rockets at the children's corner. Winners of the quiz were the 11-year-old Matthijs Franswa from Eenrum and 11-year-old Rebecca Bult from Usquert . At the interactive Infoversum demo visitors learned to travel through space using the open source software WorldWide Telescope. Composer and musician NIMANTY took visitors on a relaxing musical journey through space and time in a Space Music Concert.

More information about events of the Blaauw Observatory : www.rug.nl/sterrenwacht .          

Text: Blaauw Sterrenwacht

Last modified:03 November 2017 2.30 p.m.

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