World Space Week at Armagh Planetarium

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Fraser and Sophie have been at Armagh Planetarium in Northern Ireland as part of World Space Week. Armagh Planetarium is Ireland's leading centre for astronomy education and is dedicated to delivering astronomy education to people of all age groups. 

On Monday, Sophie was part of a science panel with seven other professionals within the STEM industry in the UK. 40 secondary school students from various local schools were invited to ask the panel about their careers, how they got into their field and what sort of advice they would offer to aspiring scientists and engineers. Sophie was also able to talk to the students about the Faulkes Telescope Project and how they can get involved with scientific research and carry out some project work and work experience.

On Tuesday morning the team ran a workshop with 22 AS-level physics students. They were introduced to the project and all the great opportunities on offer of using the telescope to participate in the Gaia Alerts programme. The workshop was done without computers and so the students got stuck into a hands-on activity that involved them plotting data sets of different variable targets and classifying them according to the shape of their light curves. The students successfully classified their objects as a supernova, an asteroid, an eclipsing binary and an exoplanet and were even able to identify which objects were periodic and which were intrinsically or extrinsically variable.

If you would like to have a go at some activities on the objects mentioned above, check out the following links:

Asteroids

Exoplanets

Supernovae