Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Open Observatory Science Week Special - Thursday 17th March 8pm

Cold is Cool: Herschel's view of the infrared Universe

Our next Open Observatory event will take place on Thursday 17th March when we will welcome Dr Chris Pearson from RAL Space as our guest speaker. RAL Space at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory provides world-leading research and technology development for space missions. Dr Pearson will be giving a talk about the exciting topic of infrared astronomy. Refreshments will be available from 7.45pm with the talk starting at 8:00pm.

The Andromeda galaxy in infrared taken by the Herschel telescope
Image credit: ESA
We also have the following exciting displays and activities planned for after the talk...

Lunar soil samples and meteorites

Apollo 11
Image credit: NASA
We have a set of lunar soil and meteorite samples on loan from the STFC for British Science Week and these will be available for visitors to view and learn about.

Crystallography in Space


We have a very successful 'crystallography in space' project that is run by Mrs Stacey and our year 12 chemists. The project is sponsored by the UK Space Agency and the students will be at the event with their work on display for you to view.

Observing the night sky

As always there will be an opportunity to view the night sky in the observatory if the weather is clear so don't forget to wrap up warm! This month we hope to catch a glimpse of the planet Jupiter and its four Galilean moons using our telescope. There are also a number of other exciting objects well placed for viewing this month including the Moon, the Pleiades star cluster and the Orion nebula.

Looking south on 17th March
The meeting is open to all students, staff and members of the public, please email office@spacestudiobanbury.org or contact Mrs Smith to book your places. Children under the age of 16 who are not Space Studio students must be accompanied by an adult. Space Studio students will need to collect a permission slip from Mrs Smith.

British Science Week 2016


Between the 11th and 20th March it is British Science Week. Read on for details of exciting events happening here at Space Studio Banbury...

British Science Week Quiz
Available to students all week. There are 5 rounds to the quiz:

Round 1: Science and performing arts

Round 2: Science and history

Round 3: Science and dance

Round 4: Science and geography

Round 5: Science and sport

There will be a prize for the best quiz entries submitted by 20th March. Quiz packs can be collected from reception from 8 am on Friday 11th March.

Hold a piece of the Moon!
The lunar landscape as seen by the Apollo 16 astronauts
Image credit: NASA
We are very lucky to have a set of lunar soil samples and meteorites in school between 14th and 18th March. These will be on display in the physics lab every lunchtime for students and staff to come along and explore. The samples will also be on display at our Open Observatory event on the 17th.

Open Observatory Science Week Special - Public Event
Looking south from Banbury on 17th March
We have an exciting visiting speaker booked for our Open Observatory event on Thursday 17th March. See separate blog post for more details.

Satellite Applications Catapult Brochure Project

The Satellite Applications Catapult is an independent innovation and technology company, created to foster growth across the economy through the exploitation of space. The Catapult is based at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell and helps organisations make use of and benefit from satellite technologies.

The Catapult have come up with an exciting project during which our students will redesign the Satellite Applications Catapult brochure. The project brief will take place at the Space Studio on Friday 18th March. The work of the students involved will be published and distributed across the space sector.

A small team of students is needed to take part in this project. If you are interested please see Mrs Smith by the end of the day on Friday 11th March.

The Big Bang Fair

Our fantastic Crystallography in Space travelling roadshow will be at The Big Bang Fair at Birmingham's NEC between 18th and 20th March. You can also catch them at our Open Observatory event on the 17th.

Citizen Science: Bat Detectives

Bat Detective is a partnership between University College London, Zoological Society of London, The Bat Conservation Trust, BatLife Europe and University of Auckland.

Bat Detective is an audio visual citizen science project that asks people to identify bat calls.

Humans are great at hearing and seeing the difference between a bat and a non-bat call, the different types of calls and what sequence a call belongs in. The Bat Detective project team needs your help to go through the sonograms and pick out the different calls.

Why bats?
Bats can tell us a lot about the health of our natural environment – many species are sensitive to climate and migrate or hibernate in different seasons, making them particularly vulnerable to climate change; and, because they typically have one offspring per year, bat populations take a long time to recover. Bats also provide lots of services to humans through controlling pests by eating insects and pollinating and dispersing crops (from bananas to tequila). Out of the 1,200 or so bat species globally, one in every five is threatened with extinction in the next 50 years.

You can read more by visiting the Bat Detective website.

If you would like to take part in the Bat Detective project come along to the IT room during learning block 4 on Friday 18th March.

Friday, 5 February 2016

February's Open Observatory Event

Unfortunately the event scheduled for 11th February has been postponed. This is due to our guest speaker being unable to attend. We hope to re-schedule this event in the near future and will post an update here when we have a new date.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Stargazing Live Update

Please note that the time of the talk for Thursday's Stargazing Live event has now changed to 7:45 pm. We will still be open from 6 pm for observing and other activities. Finish time will now be at approximately 9 pm.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Stargazing Live - Thursday 21st January 6 pm

Exploring Mars with the Curiosity Rover, Dr John Bridges, Space Research Centre, University of Leicester

Our next Open Observatory event is a Stargazing Live special and will take place on Thursday 21st January from 6 pm. We are very pleased to welcome Professor John Bridges from the Space Research Centre at the University of Leicester who will be joining us as our guest speaker for the evening. Professor Bridges is one of the few scientists based in the UK to be working with data obtained from the Mars Curiosity rover. He will be giving a fascinating talk on what it’s like to be part of the mission team and will give us an update on what has been discovered on Mars so far.


Image credit: NASA

Refreshments will be available from 5.45 pm with the talk starting at 6:00 pm. After the talk there will be an opportunity to view the night sky in the observatory if the weather is clear, don't forget to wrap up warm!

The meeting is open to all students, staff and members of the public, please email office@spacestudiobanbury.org or contact Mrs Smith (formerly Miss Flood) to book your places. Children under the age of 16 who are not Space Studio students must be accompanied by an adult. Space Studio students will need to collect a permission slip from Mrs Smith.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Open Observatory - Monday 14th December 9pm

Astrochemistry - The Cradle of Life

Our next Open Observatory event will take place on Monday 14th December and we are very excited to welcome Professor Nigel Mason, OBE from the Open University. Professor Mason will be giving a talk about the exciting topic of astrochemistry.

Refreshments will be available from 8.45pm with the talk starting at 9:00pm. After the talk there will be an opportunity to view the night sky in the observatory if the weather is clear, don't forget to wrap up warm!

This month we are aiming to observe the Geminids meteor shower. This year is ideal for observing the Geminids because there will be no Moon visible to drown them out. The Geminids are caused by debris left in the Solar System by a passing asteroid and appear to originate from the constellation of Gemini. It helps to be seated or lying down when observing a meteor shower so you may wish to bring a fold up chair or sun-lounger if you have one.

The meeting is open to all students, staff and members of the public, please email office@spacestudiobanbury.org or contact Miss Flood to book your places. Children under the age of 16 who are not Space Studio students must be accompanied by an adult. Space Studio students will need to collect a permission slip from Miss Flood.


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Open Observatory - Thursday 19th November 7pm

Gaia - Mapping the Galaxy

Our next Open Observatory event will take place on Thursday 19th November and we are very excited to welcome Andrew Norton, Professor of Astrophysics Education at the Open University. Professor Norton will be giving a talk on the Gaia mission. Gaia was launched in 2013 and aims to map a billion stars in the Galaxy over the next five years.

The meeting is open to all students, staff and members of the public, please email office@spacestudiobanbury.org or contact Miss Flood to book your places. Children under the age of 16 who are not Space Studio students must be accompanied by an adult. Space Studio students will need to collect a permission slip from Miss Flood.

Refreshments will be available from 6.45pm with the talk starting at 7:15pm. After the talk there will be an opportunity to view the night sky in the observatory if the weather is clear. This month we are aiming to observe our Moon and the planet Uranus.

Gaia
Image credit: ESA