Eyes on the Sky
This past weekend I drove to Parkes, NSW to participate in a CSIRO workshop called “Astronomy from the Ground Up!” . The three day workshop was specifically designed to provide teachers with a range of ideas and resources to engage students in the amazing science of astronomy. A highlight of the workshop was a tour of the 64 m radio telescope at the Parkes Observatory.
Not only did we (teachers from NSW, Vic and Qld) get a behind the scenes tour of the control room in the base of the telescope, but also the incredible opportunity to climb into the radio dish by way of what is called the ‘hay ride’ This is when they lower the rim of the dish until it touches the ground. You then jump onto the dish and hang on as they raise it to point straight up into the sky.
Another highlight was the viewing night in which we used a range of different optical telescopes to look at constellations and planets in the Milky Way.