Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Galway City Library goes into Space

On the 17th of August at 3pm we all gathered at The Centre for Astronomy at N.U.I.G. It was an event in our “Space Hop” Summer Reading Programme and Dr.Andy Shearer had invited us to visit the 3D visualisation suite to see the stars.
We trod softly through the bowels of the Physics Department, and all of the Space Hoppers had smiles of anticipation as we started our space adventure. We were ushered through a science laboratory where students with furrowed brows peered through spectrometers and we could only imagine the stellar scenes or mind boggling aliens they encountered. We were issued with sunglasses as we entered the 3D visualization suite and took our seats with the other space travelers.
We traveled through our universe, stars of all shapes and sizes whizzing past. John, our captain explained in light years the distance between different stars and it was a measurement beyond our comprehension!! Eight year old Iarla enquired if sound traveled in space and when he was assured it didn’t, he asked how did we know about the Big Bang theory then!
We saw the Milky Way and all it’s components and learned that there is no water on the rusty surface of Mars. We tried to imagine how hot it would be on the surface of the sun and learned that the largest telescope of it’s time was built in Offaly in 1845 and was the largest in the world for over 70 years. We were all enthralled with our space trip and the hour passed quickly.
The children had lots of information to pass onto their parents and maybe a new astronomer was born that day. Thanks to Niamh, Alison, Mark, Gavin, Ben, Daniel, Rosa Marie, Iarla, Ciaran, Liam, Aaron and Diana, together we went to the edge of the Universe and back!

No comments: