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Walking on the Moon

Visited the Astronomy Centre last night


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Took my daughter to the Astronomy Centre last night for a look around. She is only 9 but has shown an interest in astronomy which of course I am encouraging (although I must tell myself not to overdo it and go overboard and turn her off it) and I have shown her so far Jupiter, Moon, Venus, Mars through my telescope and she loves it.

She is able to recognise quite a lot of constellations and is able to find the pole star using the plough.

At the moment she is trying to get her Stagazers badge for Brownies so I thought this visit would be great.

The place is fantastic and the people are very welcoming.

We first turned up about 9:15pm and we met a chap called Andy who was in the main building which has a massive Dob telescope.

It wasn't fully dark yet but it was dark enough to see a few stars etc.

He was very pleasant and was very encouraging to my daughter asking her name and making her feel at ease. He adjusted everything on the telescope to let her have a good view of Jupiter. She was able to make out 4 moons, the cloud bands very clearly.  This was exactly as I hoped it would be. He then suggested that we go over to the other smaller building and meet a chap called dave who was also looking at Jupiter through a 16" SCT.

He also was very welcoming and spoke with a lot of knowledge but in such a way that we didn't feel inadequate and that we could understand.

He told my daughter all about the signposts of the seasons to look for e.g., Spring(Leo), Summer(Summer triangle), Autumn(Pegasus) and Winter(Orion) which was all in relation to getting her Stargazers badge for Brownies.

We were offered drinks and a chocolate bar by another chap(unfortunately I didn't get his name) which was a really nice touch especially for children and big kids like me.

By this time now my daughter was getting quite tired and cold, I could see that it was time to go as I didn't want her to associate this type of trip with me dragging her round things when all she wants is to go to bed, which was a pity as the sky was now fully dark and I really wanted to see some DSO's through some really cool looking equipment.

Anyway I went and saw Andy again to thank him and gave a donation and he gave my daughter some astro related wordsearch and crossword puzzles to do and showed her a certificate that she would get when she completes her stargazer badge.

Overall a very nice but too short an evening with some friendly folk on a subject that I love and hope that my daughter will appreciate too.

Will definitely go back as I really want her to see Galaxies and nebulae through better equipment than mine.

Its such a pity that in late spring/summer it doesn't go fully dark until after 10pm but by then the kids are getting tired.

Anyway I just thought that I would share my experience and to recommend the place to everybody and that children are most welcome there.






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