Belfast students to celebrate Sputnik anniversary

In celebration of the launch of the first man-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, Armagh Planetarium will be collaborating with Queen's University Belfast for this year's celebration of World Space Week in Northern Ireland.

From the 3 to 7 October students from local secondary schools will be able to view images of Belfast and the surrounding area using image-processing software created by the European Space Agency and learn for themselves how scientists use satellites to study our fragile world and the environment for the benefit of all mankind.

Students will then have the opportunity to remotely control the huge two metre Faulkes Telescope 'live' from Hawaii to take their own images of celestial objects. Due to the time difference between Hawaii and Belfast, pupils can take their own images of celestial bodies such as the planets Mars and Saturn and look deep into space during the school day.

Robert Hill, from Armagh Planetarium, said: "It is important that our next generation realise the benefits of science, engineering and technology in the world around them. By using these wonderful resources teachers can inform students and encourage them in ways that they could not possibly have dreamed of years ago.

"The Faulkes Telescopes are now completely free for use in every school in Ireland and we very excited about the possibilities that this will create for the learning environment of the future."

It is hoped from these activities that students can then discover the link between looking 'down' at the earth with satellites and 'up' at the universe using the largest telescope in the world devoted to education.


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