On March 26th we had a fantastic Astronomy Night hosted by Richard Tonello and his fellow astro-photographer Ben Levis. We began with a very entertaining presentation in the music room, where students and parents listened with amazement to some of the incredible facts and figures Richard had prepared for us in his slide show and to prepare us all for the stars, galaxies and planets we were going to see through the telescopes outside.
He explained technical terms such as light years, concepts like distance from the sun and the size of other suns and supernovas. He helped us understand how much 400 thousand million was, by using salt grains as an example and in a very entertaining way kept us all enthralled.
The telescopes were wonderful and Richard and Ben maintained them all evening as the stars moved overhead. All the children and parents had a wonderful evening looking in awe at the clarity of the stars, nebulae and planets we were looking at. Richard and Ben were also fountains of knowledge for us all if we had any questions. We all went home looking at the stars with more interest and awe.
Here are some comments from the children.
My favourite part was when I could see Saturn’s rings. Richard was so interesting speaking about the sun and other stars. I learned that the northern Lights are caused by sun spots stretching so far out that they fling back like an elastic band, then sends power to the north and South poles. by Zali
My favourite part was looking at the ice caps on Mars through the telescope. We also saw the Southern Cross. by Zane
The astronomy Night was a fantastic learning experience! We learnt all about constellations and how to navigate using the stars. Richard made funny comments which got us all hooked into astronomy. Ten out of ten, a great night with telescopes planets and great fun!! by Emma
Most of the year 5’s came back to school at 6:30pm for the Sky Watch evening. Our amazing incursion went for two hours and five minutes and ended at 8:35pm. When we looked through the giant telescopes on the oval, we saw the big and small dipper, four planets, satellites, the Southern Cross and Jupiter’s moons. We also saw The Emu and Richard told us that if The Emu was on its head, it means you can hunt them, but if The Emu was sitting down it meant you can’t hunt them because they are breeding. The one we saw was on its head.
It was a great night and we hope it can happen again. Also a special thanks to Richard, Ben and the teachers for making the night possible. 🙂 by Jade
Written by Gabrielle Clark with comments from Room 4 students; Posted by D. Veary