Trip to the Institute of Astronomy

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On the 22nd of February 2022, the Troop gathered at the Institute of Astronomy based in Madingley Rd, Cambridge CB3 0HA at 7 pm accompanied by the leaders. This Institute of Astronomy is the largest of the three astronomy departments in the University of Cambridge, and one of the largest astronomy sites in the UK. 

At first, our tour guide gave us a small introductory speech about the Institute of Astronomy. Then we spoke with our guide about space and our solar system. We touched on topics such as the ISS (International Space Station) of which he showed us a picture using a projector. This is where astronauts temporarily live when they go up into space to conduct research on astrobiology. He also explained facts about the solar system like how you can fit all the planets in the solar system between the Earth and the moon! 

Soon after the initial chat, we were shown a real meteorite, which all of us got the opportunity to hold. This was really exciting for all of us, as it was the first time most of us got the opportunity to hold a meteorite.

Next we moved to the observatory and we got to use the telescope, which was as big as a study table. We got in turns and looked through it to see things like the Orion sword nebula and a binary star which was in a different spiral arm of the Milky Way! We continued to stargaze for a while and chatted with troop members about what each one observed.

Sadly, it was now time to go back home, and we all made our way back to the entrance as a group.

I had a great time at the Institute of Astronomy, and I am sure the rest of the Troop did too. Just before we left we were also informed that starting in October the institute of astronomy will be having an open evening every Wednesday at 7:15 pm.

Written by: Kenula