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Member Reports from Sarah Abotsi-Masters

May 13

Mercury Transit 2016 at Planetarium Science Centre, Ghana

We held a Transit of Mercury viewing session using a Solarscope (simple projection device). We were lucky with clear skies all day, and despite our “low-tech” equipment, could make out a large irregularly-shaped sunspot, and the planet Mercury, clearly much darker and with a more definite circular shape compared to the sunspot. We had planned to use mirror projection as another way to view the transit (we had used this very successfully during the partial eclipse of November 2013) but on this occasion it was difficult to get a large enough and clear enough image. The light winds also made... Read More...

Apr 23

Sun-Day on Saturday at the Ghana Planetarium

The aim of this event on Saturday 20th April was to celebrate and learn about our nearest star, the Sun, and we had a variety of sun-related hands-on activities planned, including experiments with UV-sensitive beads, making a sundial, and projecting the sun’s image using a Galileoscope. However, despite Ghana’s position just 5 degrees north of the equator and it being one of the hottest times of the year, and despite glorious sunshine in the morning and early afternoon, by the time the event started at 4pm, the sky was well and truly clouded over! Typical! So, plan B came into... Read More...

Apr 21

Spaceflight to the Moon at the Ghana Planetarium

Saturday 13th April saw the second event celebrating Global Astronomy Month 2013 at the Ghana Planetarium, and a good time was had by all! The theme was Astronauts, Spaceflight and teh Moon to coincide (well, almost!) with Yuri’s Night on 12th April. We learned about the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, but how high up does space begin anyway? There was a group activity to discuss and show “How High” various objects can be found eg commercial airliners, meteors, the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope etc. (from the GRAIL MoonKAM website). Hands-on activities followed including painting, making a... Read More...

Apr 09

Start of Global Astronomy Month at the Ghana Planetarium

We launched Global Astronomy Month at the Ghana Planetarium on Saturday 6 th April. Since this coincided with the Globe at Night campaign and International Dark Sky week, we made the theme of our event “Stars, Constellations and Light Pollution”. A good turnout of around 50 learned about constellations, their apparent movement during the night and throughout the year, and some of the myths and stories associated with them. As always, our younger visitors asked and answered lots of questions, and had fun modelling the movement of the Earth round the Sun (to illustrate why we see different constellations throughout... Read More...

Sep 17

“Hasta la Vesta” at the Ghana Planetarium, Saturday 8th September 2012

We hosted a “Hasta la Vesta” event to celebrate the Dawn mission moving on from a successful year studying its first target, Vesta, and starting its journey to the second target, Ceres. We used a lot of resources from NASA's Hasta La Vesta website: We started with an introductory talk on the Solar System, to ensure everyone was clear what asteroids are, and the location of the main asteroid belt. Since our first visitors were families with young children, the parents teamed up with the children for our “Grape or Raisin” activity. Here participants compared the attributes of their... Read More...

May 17

GAM2012 Report - Ghana

In Ghana we organized events for each Saturday in April, all held at the Ghana Planetarium in Accra. On April 7 th , around 10 people attended our launch of GAM, where they watched the GAM 2012 trailer plus the wonderful timelapse video “Astronomers Paradise”. Sarah then used Stellarium to give a presentation on the planets and constellations that should be visible during April. A Planetarium show followed, but afterwards it was not clear enough for telescope viewing, although we were fortunate in seeing the ISS fly by! On April 14 th , around 20 people attended our “Yuri's Night”... Read More...