Would-be and amateur astronomers did not let the wet, overcast weather dampen a Stargazing Live event in Bradford last night.
Excited children and intrigued adults got stuck into a variety of activities and displays in and around City Park between 5pm and 9pm. It was all part of Bradford’s BBC Stargazing Live Evening – although the stargazing itself, led by Keighley Astronomical Society, was a struggle because of the weather.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Khadim Hussain, was at the event and he joined youngsters in building and setting off paper rockets. He said: “It is an excellent initiative to engage young people in science, and using a medium they are interested in. It is a good stepping stone to raise youngsters’ interest levels in science.”
Organiser Holly MacGregor, of science education company Space Connections, said: “It’s an exciting few hours. It will hopefully inspire people to do their own stargazing when the weather is better.”
Stacey Hanson, 23, of Bradford, was one of the people who tried some ‘astronaut food’, in particular chocolate chip ice cream flavour. She said: “It is kind of like a chalky texture – it is strange actually. It tastes like a powdery sweet, but it doesn’t taste like choc chip ice cream!”
In the new City Library, guests Robert Massey and Usama Hasan showed people how to make a comet out of dry ice, dirt, water, vinegar and honey. Mr Massey is the secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), and Mr Hasan is a senior researcher in Islamic studies, a Fellow of the RAS, and a BBC TV personality on Islam and astronomy.
The library also hosted ‘star storytelling’ and craft activities.
In City Hall, an astronomer took guests on a journey through space in an inflatable Planetarium, while outside on City Park’s big screen, there was a short ‘space’ film and images from the Bradford Robotic Telescope.