Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Local stargazers reach new heights

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Edward McKenzie (left) and Declan Willcox (right) at GEMIA's Astrofest Edward McKenzie (left) and Declan Willcox (right) at GEMIA's Astrofest Kelly Spence


THE Kalgoorlie mini Astrofest held at North Kalgoorlie Primary School on 11 May 2016 was an astronomical success, with a clear night sky on show for the 150 participants who turned out to stargaze.

A seed grant provided by Astrofest meant the Goldfields Education Mining Industry Alliance (GEMIA) could organise experts from Perth to provide loads of interesting information to the community.

GEMIA Project Officer Kelly Spence said the event was open to the general community with participants from all ages and all walks of life, from novices to avid enthusiasts with their own equipment.

“Participants were treated to a talk on the Square Kilometre Array project from the International Centre of Radio Astronomy Research and a laser talk from the Perth Observatory Volunteer Group,” said Ms Spence.

“A total of eight high-powered telescopes were on hand for the public to marvel at the moons of Jupiter, Saturn’s rings and the craters on the Moon.”

Ms Spence said a favourite on the night was the home made telescope created by local astronomy expert Peter Mikula who assisted in the planning of the evening.

“This was a community evening and a fantastic opportunity for families to enjoy learning together.”

The chilly temperatures were eased by the coffees from Queen Bees and the sausage sizzle provided by the North Kalgoorlie Primary School P&C.

GEMIA would like to thank the volunteers who helped out on the night including Peter Mikula and the teachers from the local Kalgoorlie Science Teacher’s Network for all their hard work in the pitch black.

GEMIA’s vision, to inspire success through science, is supported by partnerships with AstroFest, Inspiring Australia, Scitech, Goldfields-Esperance Workforce Development Alliance, CME and other key associations.

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