Thursday, January 10, 2013
Stargazing LIVE @ Botanic Gardens
I enjoy BBC 2's stargazing live shows and this is their 3rd year. After Tuesday's show I was pleased to discover a BBC Stargazing LIVE event here in Glasgow in Botanic Gardens on Wednesday!
We arrived just before 6pm and obtained tickets for a 'star talk' and 'creating a comet'. The star talk was a 20 minute class on introduction to astronomy and followed the BBC / Open University Star Guide 2013 handout and also closely followed some of the segments on the TV programme. They used an astronomy application called Stallarium which interestingly I had installed on a Linux machine many moons ago (sorry)... This class was unexpected and if this event is held again, I highly recommend attending!
After the star talk we moved nearer the front of the room where they were going to demonstrate what is inside a comet by constructing a model out of water, dry ice, ash, sand and worcester sauce (to simulate biological content). This show was targeted at children and Ethan seemed to really enjoy it! When asked what a comet was made of I prompted Ethan after a few guesses from the audience and he shouted out ice; a little later the same question was asked and completely unexpectedly and unprompted Ethan shouted out the correct answer - he was listening more intently than we thought :). As a bonus we also got to touch some real meteorites which were about 10cm wide!
After these classes we walked around a marquee with various LEGO mindstorms landers. They also had someone dressed as an Astronaut whom I thought was also robotic as she was standing so still - she gave herself away when she suddenly moved out of the way of someone and lifted her visor!
In the Kibble Palace various stands were available about different cosmological studies, these were all aimed at a range of age groups and each very interesting.
Some telescopes were set out for viewing the stars, but sadly it was foggy so I decided not to join the long queue to look through one of them. Shame it wasn't on Tuesday as the skies were incredibly clear and enough for me to spot some of Jupiter's moons through binoculars!
Well done to the team and I hope an event like this is held again in the future!
More details on the BBC Stargazing LIVE website