Rian, there's your belt!

I wrote some time ago about a few of my experiences with an inflatable planetarium that we have been taking around schools in the Cheshire/Manchester area. Overall it has been great fun as most of the kids that go into it are amazed and nearly every class goes "oooh, aaahhhh, wow!" when it first goes dark and they see the stars. I would say from their responses that most of them have never seen so many stars in their lives. One of the by-products of these visits, is a collection of things that kids - and teachers - say inside the planetarium. So, in the style of Mr Astronomy Guy, I though I would share a couple.

The inflatable planetarium looks like a big silver igloo with an airlock entrance at the front and a fan at the back blowing air inside. The airlock is what keeps the higher air pressure inside the dome and thus keeps it inflated when the show is going. However, calling it an airlock prompts questions such as "do you float when you go in there?". This highlights the misconception that lack of air equates with zero-gravity conditions. I blame Hollywood for that one. At another show, pointing out Orion's belt prompted one kid to shout to his neighbour (yes shout!): "Rian, there's your belt!". And finally, while talking about the discovery of planets outside the solar system and the possibility of alien life, one small boy said, in all seriousness, "I've met an alien.......my sister".

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 27th Mar 2005 (20:51 UTC) | Permalink
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