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Gemini, Castor, and observing space! (Deep Space High: Galaxy Gala)

Gemini, Castor, and observing space! (Deep Space High: Galaxy Gala)


Wait for it! Don’t take off your coats or
your helium helmets class just yet – we’re going on a field trip to the constellation
of Gemini! Terrific! We went there for our holiday last
year. I got a tan from the solar winds – I went really turquoise. We’re not going to Gemini to get a tan – we’re
going to learn how to observe space. Gemini contains the astonishing SIX STAR system of
Castor and your job will be to spot all six stars. Buckle up! We’re off! Ha, Six stars is WAY better than YOUR solar
system Sam. How many stars have you got? Just one – the Sun! But it’s quality not
quantity that counts! I bet six stars look amazing. What a cool sunrise that’d make. You’ll see that sunrise for yourself, or
you will if you follow the instructions, Sam. Everyone has a planisphere – that’s a
simple map of the sky and there’s a selection of telescopes for you to use. We’re approaching
Gemini now, so you can take off your space belts and get observing! GO! Aw this is IMPOSSIBLE – I can’t see ANYTHING
through the telescope. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I focus it… I’ll just
turn the turbo torch up a bit – maybe that will help me see. What? I need a bit more light! That’s where you’re going wrong Quark!
First space observation tip class! To see the stars, you need everything around you
to be as dark as dark can be. Let’s turn the turbo torch off, and this lamp… and
Look – you’ve still got your overhead light on. Right… NOW it’s good and dark… Woah! That’s much better! I can see….
hundreds of stars now! And look! There’s One, Two… THREE of the ones on my checklist!
Brilliant! It’s just like on Earth, Quark – I can’t
see many stars near my house because all the street lights wash them out! I have to go
into the countryside where it’s dark to see the Milky Way. Well done Sam! Going somewhere dark to look
at stars will help you see so much more than trying to do it near street or house lights.
Now remember everyone – looking at stars in the night sky is fine but you should NEVER
look at your Sun directly – and especially NEVER with a telescope? Yes Miss, I know that – I don’t want to
be blinded! Good lad. Anyone else having trouble with
our task today? Me miss! I’ve triangulated the coordinates
and plotted them onto this diagram, which I’ve transposed through my ocular focusing
unit to project onto the sky but the star Beta Gemonorium doesn’t seem to be in the
right sector at all. OK put the maps down Elektra! Wow, HOW many
did you bring? Another tip class – before you start worrying about complicated diagrams
just have a good look with your eyes! Get a feel for what is in front of you. The checklist
says the star you’re looking for is the brightest one visible in this section of sky
– can you see any really bright stars? Mmm. THAT one over there seems very bright!
Or this one over here maybe. Ok – you’ve narrowed it down by taking a
look! Now use your plansiphere to check. You were trying to look at the whole sky at once. These telescopes aren’t as good as the one
my dad’s got at home – it’s ten times the size of these little ones. I’m sure
I’d manage to tick a few more off my list if I was using his. Not necessarily! Another tip Sam is that expensive
telescopes sometimes won’t show you much more than a decent pair of binoculars. And
big telescopes take a lot of setting up. MISS Miss! I’ve finished my checklist – I’ve
spotted ALL the stars! HANG on Quark, didn’t you say you spent
the holidays in this constellation? That’s cheating! You’ve seen all these stars before. Well done Quark! It’s not really cheating
Sam. In fact, it’s another great tip for space observation. Getting to know the sky
above you really well means you’ll find out so much more. Make a note of the constellations
you can recognise, and note how they move as the seasons change. You never know – maybe
you’ll be the first to spot something new! Quark – why don’t you give the others
some pointers and help them find the remaining stars? Of course. Like the stars, I am happy to share
my BRILLIANCE. And there’s a final tip for you class. Getting
together with others is another way to turbo boost your powers of observation. Even on
Earth they have Astronomy Clubs, don’t they Sam? They certainly do, after all not everyone
can come to Deep Space High. Here’s a joke about star gazing – did you
hear about the idiot who sat up all night looking for the sun? He waited all night and
then… it DAWNED on him. That’s enough Quark! Your observation might
be brilliant but your jokes are TERRIBLE! “DEEP SPACE HIGH – THE GALAXY GALA, WITH
THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY – ADVANCING ASTRONOMY”.

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