Tag Archives: Oxford

Stargazing Live

Stargazing 2 Stargazing 3

This post is written by Owl.

On Saturday 12th January, we went to Oxford.  We had lunch in Cafe Rouge, and then we went to Stargazing Live in the Physics Department of Oxford University.  When we went in, we were given a card with a picture and some information on it, and there were 19 cards to collect at the different sections of the exhibition.  Then we went to the Hands-On room and daddy pointed out a robot which was on a wooden table with a galaxy projected onto it.  When I looked more closely, I realised it was a Lego Mindstorms robot, controlled by a computer.  I had to use the arrow keys to move the robot over the galaxy, and when it was in the right position it projected a star into one of the holes in the raised edge of the table.  Next we tried an activity where you had to move coins around on a piece of paper, and they showed up on a computer screen which was divided into two parts.  On one half you could see your coins, and on the other half a picture of a galaxy based on the position of the coins.

Then we went to the Science cafe to build a virtual Lego universe, which was our favourite activity last year.  You use different coloured bricks to represent quarks.  Yellow bricks are up quarks and red bricks are down quarks.  I put some red and yellow bricks together to make neutrons and protons.  Then I put two neutrons and two protons together in a square shape to make Helium 4.  Monkey and I built towers which were stacks of Helium 4.

The Lego activity took quite a long time and the little ones were getting restless, so we took a break.  We went down to the Astro Crafts room and made spectrometers out of cereal boxes and CDs, and a model of a planetarium which showed the distance of each planet from the sun.  After that, we returned to the Science cafe to finish the Lego towers.  We also watched a demonstration of how to make a meteor, and I crushed some dry ice (made from Carbon Dioxide) with a hammer.  We ended the afternoon with some sandwiches, chocolate cake and juice for supper, before setting off on the journey home.