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Big Telescopes roadshow arrives in York

Posted on 10 June 2015

The University of York is holding an astronomical festival, Big Telescopes, from 12-16 June, featuring the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) roadshow: ‘Seeing the Universe in all its Light’.

Taking place at the University’s Physics Exhibition Centre, the festival will feature a number of high-profile guest speakers, interactive activities, giant models, and an inflatable planetarium.

Big Telescopes will be open to the public for a Family Day on Sunday 14 June from 11am – 5pm, and around the talks on the evenings of Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 June, and is open to schools, Scouts and Guides for workshop visits on three days.   

Part of the York Festival of Ideas, the week will feature demonstrations, fascinating lectures from Star Trek style deflector shields to looking for extra-terrestrials, and a display of photographs from an inaugural astrophotography competition.

Dr Emily Brunsden, Astrocampus Director, said: “Telescopes have been the foundation for astronomical observations for hundreds of years, yet they are still central to research today. We are currently building some of the greatest instruments of our generation and many of these explore far beyond the light our eyes can see and reveal an amazing invisible universe!”

Events are suitable for all ages and no tickets are required for the exhibition, but tickets are needed for the talks. These are free and can be reserved through

For those keen to explore the wonders of the universe year-round, the University of York’s Astrocampus is unique to the area, offering a wide range of telescopes and hands-on space exploration activities. Open monthly to the public throughout the summer, visitors have the chance to tour the observatories and find out more about space science through activities such as meteorite handling and using iPads to investigate spacecraft in 3D.

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