The Monkton Stargazers put on a Star Party with special astronomy talks at Monkton Nature Reserve following the BBC Stargazing Live programmes last week.
Tim Long explained how Astro Quest can be used to log one’s observing of the night skies and to gain points towards a certificate and badge.
Nine year old Jack Vas from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary school gave a presentation on how his year 5 class carried out Eratosthenes’ experiment to measure the circumference of the Earth. They measured the length of a shadow at noon on the Vernal Equinox and together with the measurements from a girls’ school in Morocco they obtained a result very close to the actual value of 40,007 km.
Ten year old Isabelle Tighe from the same school gave a talk on the Cassini mission to Saturn and explained why she advised NASA to use the final moments of the probe to photograph the hexagon shaped storm on the North Pole of the planet.
Luigi from f1telescopes demonstrated various kinds of telescopes and answered questions from the audience. During the break the group enjoyed some marvellous finger food provided by Michelle.
The event fortunate to have clear skies so after the talks the group went up to the Observatory to look at the crescent Moon and other celestial objects. Altogether everyone enjoyed an excellent and informative evening.