The program starts with an overview of the history of astronomy and what can be seen in the night sky at that time, using planetarium software in the dome. There then follows a 25 min show ‘Two small Pieces of Glass’.
‘Two Small Pieces of Glass’
While attending a local star party, two teenage students learn how the telescope has helped us understand our place in space and how telescopes continue to expand our understanding of the Universe. Their conversation with a local astronomer enlightens them on the history of the telescope and the discoveries these wonderful tools have made. The students see how telescopes work and how the largest observatories in the world use these instruments to explore the mysteries of the universe. While looking through the astronomer’s telescope, the students, along with the planetarium audience, explore the Galilean Moons, Saturn’s rings, and spiral structure of galaxies. Learning outcomes of the show are;
• Compare reflection to refraction
• Explain how light is dispersed by a lens and how this affects image quality
• Explain how the shape of a lens or mirror can affect the image quality.
• Describe how a reflecting telescope forms an image
• Explore the history of telescopes from Galileo to the Great Observatories.
• Identify the major events associated with the development of telescopes.
• Describe how technological advances have improved telescopes.
• Describe how science has advanced the technology associated with telescopes.
• Describe how improvements in telescopes have allowed new discoveries.