First Night at Pascoe Vale

Last Tuesday after much deliberation and inspection of the Bureau of Meterology‘s satellite images, we decided to throw caution to the wind (literally) and hold the first student observation night at Pascoe Vale Girls College. While it was cloudy all day, around 5pm the clouds fell away and we were left with a (mostly) clear sky.

After a brief discussion on safety around the telescope, we trouped out into the courtyard in our winter jackets and got to see some amazing sights. There were squeals over Saturn and the rings. Much nodding of heads over Mars, and plenty of ‘that’s so pretty’ when we had a look at the Jewel Box Nebula.

Pascoe Vale Girls College Obs Night

The girls from PVGC looking at Saturn

Quotes from the evening;

“If I’d done this in Year 7, I would have loved Science”

“Best night ever”

We finished up with one last quick look at Saturn, before the clouds decided we had had enough for one night. So with stars in their eyes (literally again), the girls headed inside to think about what they had just seen. They split into groups, one group did an exercise on Parallax, another played on Stellarium and the last group tried to order a number of objects on the basis of their age, size and distance from Earth.

Telescope and teachers

There was a telescope in there somewhere!

Thank you to all the students for all your amazing questions, your tremendous interest and great enthusiasm. We are glad you all had such an enjoyable night and we look forward to showing you so much more Astronomy.

Parallax Activity

Girls using the Parallax method to determine the distance to a nearby star.

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