World Space Week event
On Saturday 7th October the Monkton Stargazers will be taking part in the international celebration of World Space Week.
In the afternoon from 1pm there will be a variety of activities accessible to all ages.
Take a guided Solar System walk around the Reserve to get an idea of its huge scale.
Read the personal radio message to the Monkton Stargazers from the FUNcube satellite which is being transmitted all around the world from 600km in Space.
Use the data from the satellite to work out the mass of the Earth, with a little help from Johannes Kepler.
Ask an astrophysicist from the University of Kent’s Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science anything you wanted to know about astronomy as well as courses at the University. Charlotte Jenner and Natalie Garrett will have simple demonstrations that will help explain the stages that a star goes through – how they are born, how they explode and how they could form a black hole.
Not only admire the two telescopes in the two observatories but have a go at controlling the Newtonian telescope yourself.
If it is sunny and clear observe the sunspots on our star. Using previous images work out how fast the Sun is spinning.
Browse the astronomy books in the bookshop.
Explore the software Stellarium to see what is visible in the night sky.
After all that, have a well earned cup of tea and star biscuit in the cafe and drink a toast to the Sputnik satellite on its 60th anniversary.
The Reserve will open again at 7pm and we kick off the evening celebrations with the International Space Station which will pass nearly over head at 19.25. We return to the cafe for what promises to be a fascinating talk on the Life Cycle of Stars by Charlotte from the Centre of Astrophysics and Planetary Science.
Afterwards we will go outside and see the life cycle for ourselves. The emission North American nebula is visible at the moment and is the birth place of stars. The ring nebula M57 is also visible and is the remnants of a stellar explosion of a red giant star just as our Sun will do one day. Just a couple of the amazing sights on show at this time of the year.