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Posted on: 7/11/2019

Year 8 Visit to the Royal Observatory

On Thursday the 7 November, 30 Year 8 students visited the world-famous Royal Observatory Museum in Greenwich. Students took part in workshops, focusing on the latest discoveries in space science. Students explored the characteristics and properties of celestial objects, such as comets. The girls identified and examined different equipment needed to successfully land on a comet. We then explored the challenges faced by engineers and space scientists during the Rosetta Mission to comet 67p. This mission allowed scientists to successful land on the comet and explore it up close, despite challenges faced on previous missions. Digital 3D-images from the Rosetta Mission captured the interest and imagination of our girls. Students then went on to examine the relationship between the tilt of the Earth and seasons, by using digital simulations to review their understanding.  A range of activities were completed to test their knowledge on more complex natural phenomena such as phases of the Moon. The afternoon was spent stargazing into the wonders of the night sky and our Universe. The show began with an introduction to the constellations in the sky, and involved a journey beyond the solar system; looking at hundreds of extrasolar planets now known to orbit stars other than our Sun. The planetarium show allowed students to learn more about their closest neighbours in space, and was the highlight for many students. One student described her experience as ‘truly magical.’ A visit to the Royal Observatory is just what’s needed to inspire future astronauts and space scientists.      

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