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Exploring the Universe Exhibition – Family and holiday club event

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Jesus College (West Court)

Jesus Lane

Cambridge

CB5 8DA

United Kingdom

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On Wednesday 17th April, 2-5 pm, the International Astronomical Union will host a Space Science exhibition at Jesus College in Cambridge with lots of hands-on experiments for the whole family. You can build comets and spacecraft shielding, explore what light is made from, investigate some actual meteorites, and much more. We’ll be bringing laboratory astrophysics to you and you get the chance to get your hands onto your own little piece of space, right here on earth!

Outer Space Hands-on - Exploring the Universe from the Laboratory

Can you imagine bringing space into the lab? Humans have been observing the stars, trying to understand how the universe works, for thousands of years; but we can only observe, not control, what is happening so far beyond our reach.

How can we solve that? In laboratory astrophysics, we create our own little space environment in the laboratory or simulate it on a computer. That way, we can control the environmental conditions, while investigating millions of individual processes that together will form a bigger picture: When I mix this or that chemical into water ice, how will it look through a telescope? Can I collide and stick together small icy or rocky grains to form a planet? Is there anything in space that could “glue” them together?

Researchers across the UK have set out to tackle these challenges, and this spring we bring laboratory astrophysics to you. You get a chance to get your hands onto your own little piece of space, right here on earth!

Please note that children must be supervised by accompanying adults at all times.

Junk model competition for late primary to early secondary ages

Modelling a state-of-the-art research experiment from everyday materials

Do you like arts and crafts? Do you enjoy working with your hands? Do you like tinkering with materials, re-purposing them, or creating something from scratch? Then this activity is for you.

We invite entries to a junk model competition from groups and/or individuals in late primary to early secondary school stages.

You will use everyday materials to re-create a state-of-the-art apparatus, used in laboratory astrophysics. Wondering what that is? Laboratory astrophysics recreates the conditions found in outer space in a laboratory, so that we can investigate processes like planet formation or the origin of biological molecules hands-on. This helps us to interpret the observations astronomers make through their telescopes. Developing such a laboratory experiment is much like this model building competition: often, we need to look at the available materials and parts and find a way to combine them to do what we want to do, or we need to design something no-one has ever done before, from scratch – and then get our hands dirty putting it together. Now it is time that you have a go at it. We are looking forward to seeing what you make and hearing about your experience. Therefore, we would like to meet you in person!

Register for this competition below, to secure free tickets to the exhibition for your group. Additionally, we will provide free transport for you and your accompanying adult(s) from central locations in the wider Cambridge area.

At the exhibition event, you will get to display your model next to those of your competitors and next to the actual apparatus. The most accurate model will receive a prize.

Curious? Then register by 31st March 2019 or ask us for more information by emailing HandsOnSpace@stfc.ac.uk. We hope to see you at Jesus College in April.

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Date and Time

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Jesus College (West Court)

Jesus Lane

Cambridge

CB5 8DA

United Kingdom

View Map

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