THE mysteries of space will be brought closer to home with events at the University of York’s Astrocampus.
Created by the Department of Physics, the Astrocampus provides a unique venue for people of all ages to study the universe.
After the official opening last night, a star-filled programme of school activities and public observing evenings is due to begin in earnest with the appointment of a new outreach officer.
Yesterday’s official launch saw about 400 local children take part in workshops such as rocket-making, go on a virtual journey through the universe in an inflatable planetarium called a cosmodome, and find out how the Sun works, in a sundome.
Later on in the evening, a space exhibition gave people the chance to take a tour of the facility and attend a lecture by Dr Andrew Pontzen, a Royal Society University Research Fellow at University College London, who asked: ‘Does dark matter really exist?’ Katherine Leech, outreach officer from the Department of Physics, said: “We are really excited to be able to share the awe and wonder of space with local people of all ages, and have organised a fun-filled day and evening of hands-on activities for everyone to enjoy.”
The Astrocampus houses the Meade 14-inch, ten-inch and eight-inch telescopes in its two purpose-built observatories, as well as a solar telescope for observing the Sun safely, and radio telescopes for looking into the skies by day or night.
Any community group or school interested in arranging a special visit to the York Astrocampus can contact Katherine Leech on 01904 322 209 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Monthly observing evenings will run from the end of March to September.
Weekly observing evenings will start in October and continue over the winter months. Visit www.yorkastronight.eventbrite.co.uk to book a free place.