Starry night exploration with a little help from the experts
The community of Tom Price and surrounding areas gathered to view the Pilbara night sky under the guidance of experts and amateur astronomers at the 2015 Red Earth Night Sky Astro Fair last week.
Tom Price Senior High School secured an $8000 federal grant in April to host the event, which was held in collaboration with National Science Week.
As well as optical and radio telescopes observing the sky, the Astro Fair featured a myriad of exciting activities for the community over four days, leading into the main event on the final night.
The highlight of the evening was the presence of astronomers from Perth plus a number of astronomy enthusiasts who travelled to Tom Price to set up a large array of telescopes at the school for the public to view the moon, planets and star clusters.
Tom Price Senior High School principal Trevor Henderson congratulated science teacher Kathleen Farmer on her initiative and success in being awarded the Commonwealth grant to run the highly anticipated event.
“The response from the local community to attend this event was fantastic and it was great to see the large number of families in attendance,” he said.
“The secondary and primary school student displays with the theme of light and colour were very good and the range of theme related activities for children were engaging and well received.
“Both children and adults alike were thrilled to have the opportunity to access such high calibre equipment to view the night sky and to learn from the astronomers about the equipment and what was being viewed.”
Mr Henderson thanked staff and students who volunteered their time in the lead up to the event and local businesses Skilled, Work Pac, Tom Price Senior High School P&C and Jenny’s Balloon Creation, for donating prizes for the student displays.
National Science Week is Australia’s largest festival, with more than 1000 events and 1.5 million attendees expected to take part from August 15 to 23.
For more information about National Science Week, visit www. scienceweek.net.au.
2015 Astro Fair display winners:
Tom Price Senior High School
Tom Price Primary School
North Tom Price Primary School
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