The Sussex University physics and astronomy department outreach team made a recent visit to Farlington School, just outside Horsham. High-powered binoculars and a reflecting telescope were set up on the south lawn, and girls ranging from years eight to eleven viewed several object in the night sky.
As daylight started to fade their attention was first turned to the Moon. The craters on the surface were clearly visible and the girls took photographs through the telescope. Throughout the evening they saw three planets: Venus, Mars and Jupiter, along with Jupiter’s four largest moons. Other objects included the Pleiades star cluster and the Orion nebula, a region where star formation is taking place.
Chris Snewin, head of chemistry, who organised the evening, said: “The girls asked some excellent questions of the Sussex University team about the things they could see – I think there are some budding astronomers at Farlington.”