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Event: First Fridays at the Castle > 2nd October > Web of Stars

Saturday, 03 October 2009

People are welcome to the launch this Friday, 2nd October, of the Cork San Francisco Sister Project, Web of Stars, with a unique family programme under a Full Moon at Cork Institute of Technology's Blackrock Castle Observatory.

From 6 ¬ 8pm there will be hands on workshops: Telescopes as Time Machines (every half hour for children aged 9-12).

At 8pm Cllr Laura McGonigle, Cork City Council will officiate, and welcome, Chabot staff astronomer Ben Burress, live from the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California.

Visitors will learn about Chabot's magnificent telescopes and view their collection of astrophotographs taken by these instruments. Ben is also
remotely launching the Cork San Francisco Sister project 'Web of Stars'.

9.30pm will bring an opportunity to observe the stars under a full moon and enjoy a guided laser pointed show with professional astronomers. (This is clear sky dependant.)

CIT's Blackrock Castle Observatory's partnership with Chabot Space & Science Center for Web of Stars, is a unique pilot remote astronomy project, designed to teach astronomy using a live link. Astronomers at Chabot will observe the sky at night, delivering real-time astronomical images to students in Ireland in order to discuss their properties and share information about the night sky. This project was conceived to celebrate 25 years of twinning between San Francisco and Cork and 2009, the International Year of Astronomy.

The sister city initiative was spearheaded by US Senator, Dianne Feinstein, during her tenure as Mayor of San Francisco. Diarmuid Philpott, Chair of Cork Sister City committee at San Francisco City Hall, and Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, Cork sister City Committee, have been instrumental in developing the local educational and political ties. This enables progress of the unique teaching exercise which takes advantage of the time difference between the two cities allowing the live link to take place.

"This educational opportunity is an extraordinary way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of San Francisco and Cork becoming sister cities," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "The telescopes at Chabot Space & Science Center will provide inspirational science education to students in Cork. The two cities will continue to strengthen the links between them and explore possibilities for further commercial, tourism, cultural and educational contacts."

BCO hosts open nights on the first Friday of the month with astro-related activities for visitors of all ages: lectures by visiting scholars, Star Parties, night observing and star counts and activities for children. Visit this link for more details.

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