March 18, 2009 15:20 by andi
I am always delighted to discover that it’s International Year of <insert cultural topic or natural feature here>. There have been some great ones in the past like the International Polar Year 2007-08, the International Year of the Potato 2008, the International Year of Volunteers 2001.I can remember the International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981which started a new awareness of access to public buildings which today is now mainstream design. International years of <whatever> often have ripple effects as they make us take notice of our world.
In this episode I hang around the Melbourne Planetarium at Scienceworks for a day asking staff about their favourite celestial bodies, what visitors thought about the planetarium shows and playing with the acoustics of the dome theatre in between shows.
When I asked Trish, an education officer, about her favourite celestial body she said, ‘My favourite celestial body has to be the Moon. I see it as a bit of a reality check because we can get busy with things that are happening in our lives but when we look up and see the Moon we remember we that we are on this amazing spherical earth and there is this moon orbiting our earth. We are actually apart of huge universe full of lots of things like nebulas and black holes and stuff we don’t know about.’
So take extra time to marvel at our place in space this year and catch a planetarium show at a museum near you.
Cosmic waves, Dr Andi
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Source: Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. The Galileo spacecraft took this image of the Moon on 7 December 1992 on its way to explore the Jupiter system in 1995-97 | Melbourne planetarium visitors | Animation of a black hole from a planetarium show