Post written by Explainer Kate
In January the Science Museum was asked to take part in the BBC’s Stargazing Live events at Woolwich and Charlton house. Events were held all over the UK to coincide with the second series of the very successful Stargazing Live show. Explainer Dan and I from the Science Museum Learning Team together with some lovely volunteers from STEM, attended the daytime event at Woolwich and the evening event at Charlton House.
On a very sunny day in Woolwich there were lots of free demonstrations, activities and telescopes for the public to look at. Dan and I set up Alka-Seltzer rockets and traced constellations. I also got to look at the sun through a telescope with a specially designed filter which was very exciting.
At Charlton House everybody was hoping for a clear night. This time we knew that we were not going to be able to set off Alka-Seltzer rockets inside the beautiful Jacobean House, so we also brought a water rocket and arranged the launch pad on the lawn. Dan had the clever idea of putting glow-in-the-dark sticks inside the water rockets so we could clearly see how high they were travelling up into the air in the dark.
Meanwhile inside the building we set out a huge piece of paper on which people drew constellations, planets and anything else they thought they would find in space. We also had some real NASA space food and the model of the Saturn V rocket for people to look at and we demonstrated how to make film-can constellations.
Unfortunately the night was pretty overcast so it was difficult to get a chance to see much through the telescopes but I did manage to catch a glimpse of Jupiter and some of its moons which was very cool!
Explainer Fact: Nasa launched a spacecraft called Juno last year to help us learn more about Jupiter.