1. ITV Report

Stargazing space spectacular comes to Kent

A chance to stargaze in Kent Photo: Canterbury Academy

Canterbury will become the centre of the universe onSaturday, as the Canterbury Academy is holding a free stargazing Space Spectacular with lots to do for all the family, whatever the weather.

There will be two planetariums giving stellar shows, astronomy talks including “To Infinity and Beyond” which introduces the enormity of the universe, make and launch your own indoor rocket,the University of Kent’s Cool Science shows with lots of -196°C liquid nitrogen bubbling away, meteorites including a 3.9bn year old iron meteorite, plus lots of space related displays including a Kids Corner with a make you own model Milky Way galaxy and working planisphere.

The moon Credit: Canterbury Academy

Tour one of the largest non-professional observatories in Kent. The James Irwin observatory was opened in 1990 by Cmdr. James Irwin of Apollo 15, one of the famous Moon walkers. Look through the 14” computer controlled telescope at Jupiter and its moons plus our own Moon up close and personal. There will also be an array of telescopes up to 16” aperture out in the observing field from which visitors can take close-up photos of the Moon with their own smartphone or compact camera.

The sun Credit: Canterbury Academy

“We really want to entertain and educate people of all ages about the wonders of the universe, like the super massive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy that is about to consume a giant gas cloud” said Ian Hargraves Chairman of MKAS. “Actually this has already happened 30,000 years ago but that’s another story to be told!”

The observatory Credit: Canterbury Academy

“Mid-Kent Astronomical Society has worked alongside The Canterbury Academy to help provide astronomy related fun evenings for our pupils for many years now! This Space Spectacular promises to be one of the largest Stargazing LIVE events in Kent” said Matt Harris, teacher of Science at Canterbury Academy. “Ever wondered what a light year is or how large the universe is or what star and constellations you are looking at? Want to know the difference between a shooting star and a meteorite? Don’t wonder any more, come along and have an evening that is out of this world and find out for yourself!”