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Posts tagged with 'planetarium'

Planets to spot in January

10 January 2012 by Lisa

Here’s our Planetarium demonstrator, John Moran, to tell us what planets we can look out for in the night sky this month…


Saturn. Image courtesy of NASA.

Hope you’re all over your Christmas hangovers! Well if you’re looking for a good way to involve the kids in science without having to go anywhere, then you should get out in the back garden. There are planets galore this month in the night sky for those of you with telescopes.

Jupiter, the king of planets, is unmistakable as it is so bright. Try viewing the Galilean’s (which are the four planet sized moons orbiting this gas giant, named after the man who discovered them, Galileo) at about 8pm. Check the position of the moons, then leave your telescope set up and go back to it two hours later and you will find that the moons have changed position. Also look for the equatorial bands and the great Red Spot on Jupiter too. It’s a really rewarding object to view.

Next up is the home to many a spaceman story, the red planet Mars. Swing your telescope towards the east at around about 10pm (but the kids should be in bed by now!) and look for Mars behind the constellation of Leo. Again, it is unmistakable as it is clearly red and it doesn’t twinkle. If you’re lucky you may get to see the polar icecaps.

Lastly, for our viewing pleasure, we have the ringed beauty Saturn following behind Mars from 1am. Your telescope will clearly show off the gorgeous ring system and the gap between rings and planet. Nothing will prepare you for the first time you see the rings of Saturn, it truly is one of the most breathtaking sights. See what you think when you first glimpse it and let me know… Read more…

A new era for the museum’s planetarium

20 December 2011 by Lisa

Staff at the World Museum are getting very excited, as a generous donation has meant that a massive refurbishment can go ahead on the much-loved planetarium!

It will be closed from 4 – 30 January 2012, but here’s planetarium demonstrator John Moran to tell us what fantastic new facilities will be available in the new year…

I used to get asked, “Are there any changes coming to the Planetarium anytime soon?” My answer would always be, “Only if a private benefactor with deep pockets decides they;d like to invest some money into the planetarium!”. But I never believed for a moment that it would happen. Read more…

December delight in the night sky

9 December 2011 by Lisa

Here’s our Planetarium demonstrator and resident star-gazer, John Moran, to tell us what to look out for in the night sky this month…

Composite wide angle camera image taken during the peak of 2010's Geminids.

Composite wide angle camera image taken during the peak of 2010’s Geminids.

Who needs X-Factor, I’m a Celebrity or Strictly Come Dancing when there is so much viewing pleasure in the night sky above you?

For starters there is the king of planets Jupiter, which you may have already seen but not realised. If you have noticed an unusually bright star directly above your head you have actually been looking at the gas giant with the great red spot. A pair of small binoculars is enough to see its four main moons orbiting either side of it. If you have access to a telescope you should be able to see the equatorial bands running through the planet. Read more…

Stargazing evening – see Jupiter in the flesh!

11 January 2011 by Lisa

It seems that everyone is going stargazing crazy at the moment and as we’re passionate about the night sky, we’re joining in! Here’s one of our planetarium demonstrators, John Moran, to tell us about a special stargazing evening at the museum this week…

Woman with a telescope

Staff at the museum getting the telescopes ready!

To coincide with the BBC’s Stargazing Live, which runs from the 3-16 January, myself and the rest of the planetarium staff at World Museum will be hosting a stargazing night on Thursday 13 January from 4.30 to 6.30pm . We will be setting up a number of telescopes and binoculars on the fifth floor of the museum so our visitors can get a closer look at the night sky.  See the ‘gas giant’ Jupiter and its four main planet-sized moons and the craters of our own moon up close and in sharp focus.  Read more…

My lucky garden

29 December 2010 by Lisa

Want to spot some shooting stars and a partial solar eclipse in the new year? Here’s our planetarium demonstrator John Moran to tell you how!

There is a double celestial event to whet your appetite this January! As a starter, in the early hours of the 4 January we will be treated to the Quantadrids, which is one of the most abundant annual meteor showers of the year with 60 to 120 shooting stars per hour. Providing the sky is clear you will be pretty much guaranteed to see shooting stars galore. A dark location would be ideal but even from a built up area you shouldn’t be disappointed. I once watched the Perseids from my garden and got to see at least a dozen meteors, with one of them even breaking apart mid-flight.

Next we have a partial solar eclipse. At precisely 8.27am the moon will start to cover the surface of the Sun and even though it is only a partial eclipse, we can still expect to see about 75 per cent of the sun’s disc obscured by the moon.

I remember in 1999 when the UK had a total solar eclipse from the south west of England and partial eclipse everywhere else. I was stood in my garden again, in the city centre of Liverpool with my family and it was crystal clear. Patrick Moore the eminent astronomer, star of ‘The Sky at Night’ and personal hero of mine, was on the south coast with many other professionals and armatures alike. There were lots of tv cameras there, as it was live on the BBC, but they were completely clouded out! Read more…

Happy Anniversary to the World Museum!

31 December 2009 by Lisa

Black and white photo of old museum interior.

The museum before it was bombed in the Second World War.

I know I’m a day early, but 2010 will mean a pretty important anniversary for us here at National Museums Liverpool. It will be the 150th Anniversary of William Brown handing over the keys for what was then the Liverpool museum, which we now all know and love as the World Museum.

To mark this anniversary we’re going to be featuring a year-long series of World Museum-related stories on this blog. There’ll be a story a week, with a mix of historical and contemporary pieces. We want to let you know all about the museum’s history but also give you a few behind the scenes peeks at the people, stories and events that make (and have made) this such a special museum. Read more…

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