Edited from a story on the University of Portsmouth website:
Astronomers of all ages explored the wonders of the Universe thanks to a Stargazing event in Portsmouth last week.
University of Portsmouth astronomers hosted the event at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Tuesday 31st January 2017 and over 600 people visited despite the misty skies and rain. The event was organised by the University’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation in collaboration with Action Stations and HMS Warrior 1860.
Budding astronomers and amateur stargazers were given the opportunity to explore the Universe, learn how sailors navigate by the stars, build rockets, learn about gravity, listen to talks on cosmology and identify galaxies.
Dr Jen Gupta, astrophysicist and outreach officer, said: “The weather may not have been on our side last night, but this certainly didn’t affect our event, which saw hundreds of people engaging with the activities on offer. This is the fifth time we’ve run Stargazing at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and we’re so pleased with how it went. It’s wonderful to see people of all ages taking part in activities that enthuse them about the Universe.”
Isaac Wagstaff, aged five, said: “My favourite part was having my face painted with a sparkly red star. I learnt that if a star is red it means it’s a really old star – even older than my daddy!”
University astrophysicists, cosmologists and physics students were joined by Hampshire Astronomical Group, Airbus Defence & Space, Raspberry Pi Foundation, and the South Downs National Park Authority to talk to attendees, while staff and volunteers from HMS Warrior 1860 and Action Stations were on hand with activities on navigation and rockets.
Director of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, Professor David Wands, said: “Our annual Stargazing event gives me and my academic colleagues the chance to share our excitement about cosmology with the local public, which makes for a fun-filled community occasion.”