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A group of children from Langdale Church of England Primary School had a fascinating tour of planets, solar systems and the universe at their school, with Kendal Astronomer Stuart Atkinson recently.
Mark Squires, head teacher, said: 'That was inspiring, it took me right back to watching astronomer Carl Sagan at a similar age to them.'
Amazing questions from children included: 'Are there different dimensions of space? What is proof of the big bang theory? to 'How come planets going round the sun don't get sucked in?'
The session was organised as part of the 'Secret Windermere' project run by Friends of the Lake District. 'Secret Windermere' is one of the Heritage Lottery funded projects funded by the Windermere Reflections programme, which is working with residents and visitors to encourage positive action for the environment, to bring about many improvements to the Windermere area.
Inspired by their exploration into outer space, some 65 budding young astronomers, staff, parents and locals from the Langdale, attended an evening's star gazing (Tuesday 15th) near Blea Tarn. As it was a clear night, the astronomers were treated to a view of thousands of stars, a good view of the Milky Way, Jupiter, and several shooting stars.
'On a good dark night in an ideal location you may see as many as 3000 stars. In a city, because of the light pollution you might be lucky to see a handful,' said Judith Moore Friends of the Lake District Policy Officer.
'Secret Windermere' is working with young people from local schools around the Windermere area to find out about tranquillity and where it can be found. The 'Dark Skies' element of the project is introducing the importance of dark skies and being able to see the stars as part of our natural environment. Annie Masson, Education Officer at Friends of the Lake District said: 'We were lucky to have such a great star view at Blea Tarn, but elsewhere stars are becoming hidden under a veil of light. Using lighting more wisely and directing lights down where they are needed, would help us to see the night sky better, reduce energy use, save money and reduce disturbance to wildlife.'