March 2023 – News

29th March

Friends Outing: A group of 21 Friends, including GKWJ and JAG, visited the National Space Centre in Leicester for this year’s Friends Outing. The plethora of exhibits, ranging from a Soyuz space craft, a piece of Moon rock and a signed first edition of Yuri Gagarin’s autobiography that has been to the ISS twice, once with Helen Sharman and then with Tim Peake, right through to detailed and interactive explanations of a multitude of astronomical facts and figures kept the group enthralled for the day. The highlight was a guided tour by the Curator of the Museum, who showed us his favourite exhibits, telling us their stories with his expert knowledge. All this combined with a stunning show in the largest planetarium in the UK made for a superb day out.

23rd March

Sun-Earth Day Lecture: Over 60 pupils and Friends attended the 2023 NASA/ESA Sun-Earth Day Lecture in the Garnett Room. Delivered by Nick Howes FRAS, the lecture had the overtly dramatic title “OMG – We’re All Gonna Die!”. Nick examined the dangers we face on Earth from space, the greatest of which is an impact with a large comet. Despite a delayed start to the talk due to a new visitor sign in procedure, the audience thoroughly enjoyed the thought provoking lecture and a host of searching questions were asked.

21st March

Outreach Visit: 6 Year 6 pupils from Broad Hinton Primary School and two parents visited the Dome with GKWJ. The evening was cloudy, but the group enjoyed a tour of the Observatory and were fascinated by the Wetton meteorite collection.

2nd March

Outreach Visit: A group of 20 children and parents from the Gloucestershire Home Education Hub visited the Dome with GKWJ on a clear, cold, moonlit night. The session started outside with a Sky Tour, including a view of the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter close to the western horizon. The group moved inside to observe Jupiter and its four Galilean moons in the 10-inch. Outside again to continue the sky tour, this time including a closer look at The Pleiades (M45) through binoculars. The session ended back inside with a fabulous view of the Waxing Gibbous Moon through the 10-inch.