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University of York physicists lead journey through space – on a bicycle

Posted on 19 June 2014

Cycling enthusiasts can expect an ‘out of this world’ experience at an event led by University of York staff and student volunteers this weekend.

The Solar System - York to Selby cycle track

Cycle the Solar System will combine cycling and science on Saturday, 21 June, allowing members of the public to discover more about the wonders of our Solar System.

Part of the Tour de France Cultural Festival, the event will take place on the scale model of the Solar System along the York to Selby cycle track. Volunteers from York’s Department of Physics will be on hand to answer space-related questions and to lead activities including rocket launching and making comets using dry ice.

The event has been organised by student volunteers working in partnership with Sustrans and York Greenway Champions

Katherine Leech, Outreach Officer with the Department of Physics, said: “We are very lucky to have a scale model of the Solar System in York. We are inviting everyone with an interest in cycling and space to bring along their bike and have a fun day out, cycling between the planets and picking up facts about the Solar System on the way.”

The route is a scale model of the Solar System spread over a 10km section of the cycle path, which allows people to travel to eight planets and the dwarf planet Pluto.  A Millennium project, the scale model, which was opened in 1999, was the brainchild of three University of York staff - Peter Thompson, David Coulthard and Willie Hoedeman – and is owned and maintained by Sustrans.

Cycle the Solar System will take place on Saturday, 21 June from 10am to 4pm. Activities will run between York and Ricall and people can join anywhere along the route, cycling as much or as  little as they choose.  

Find out more about the event and the model Solar System at Cycle the Solar System


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