Jupiter Nights is an astronomical success at WWT Washington
Over a thousand people on Friday and Saturday evening took part in ‘Jupiter Nights’, a joint event organised by Washington Wetlands Centre and Sunderland Astronomical Society. The event aimed to introduce and get people involved in astronomy; and judging by the numbers that took part there are a lot of people in the North East who want to know more about this fascinating science.
Enthusiasts joined local astronomers for a fun night of assorted astronomical treats at the Cygnus Observatory in the Washington Wetlands Centre. There they trained powerful telescopes at the night sky to unveil the moon, the mighty planet Jupiter and its four largest moons, the Orion Nebula (M42) and gorgeous star clusters such as “The Seven Sisters” and “The Beehive”.
Telescopes of all shapes and sizes were available for the public to use and interactive presentations and workshops, with plenty of time for questions, took place. Local astronomers were on hand with their expertise and advice and there were videos, lectures and demonstrations. The organisers even set aside an astro-related craft area for children.
The Sunderland Astronomical Society was formed in July 1993 by an enthusiastic group of local amateur astronomers and is one of the most active and largest astronomical societies in the North East. The society aims to promote the science of astronomy to the public and does so by holding regular talks, observing sessions, projects and workshops at various locations, including their public observatory at the Washington Wetlands Centre.
Washington Wetlands Centre, part of Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, is a home to many exotic birds, amazing insects and some very cute otters. The centre is set in beautiful wild scenery and you can experience wonderful wildlife up close and have a great family day out in its 45 hectares of stunning wetlands and woodland on the River Wear.
The Jupiter Nights event was clearly an ‘astronomic’ success and shows the North East’s great enthusiasm for the science of astronomy.