Physics students seeing stars at Kielder

13th Jan, 2014 | Sixth Form News

A Level Physics students at have enjoyed a star-studded weekend in Kielder, which is part of the Northumberland dark sky park.

33 AS and A2 Physics students reached for the stars when they attended an action packed weekend in Kielder, part of the Northumberland dark sky park. The students spent 2 nights in Kielder YHA and 2 evenings at Kielder Observatory. Cloudy weather on the group’s first night at the observatory meant that although they were unable to gaze at the stars, they were able to learn about the telescopes and enjoy varied discussions about astronomy including what might happen past the event horizon of a black hole.

The next day, the group climbed Deadwater Fell where the students were able to see the Ministry of Defence radar array atop the hill, which controls the local airspace for NATO jets, who use the area over the park for in low-flying exercises.

As the only break in the cloud cover was forecast to be midnight Saturday to 0300am Sunday morning, the students were allowed back to Kielder Observatory for a special visit to see the stars.

Sam Barnes, Head of Division for Science and Maths said, “We all had an incredible time at Kielder and the students certainly gained a lot from the trip. Views of the moon, Jupiter and comet C/2011 W3 aka Comet Lovejoy were amazing and well worth staying up until the early hours of the morning to see. We’ll definitely be back next year to inspire the next generation of astrophysicists.”

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