Girls Night Out

Jodrell Bank radio telescope at dusk

Saturday was a busy day! After the Science Spectacular at Manchester University, we  re-packed all our kit and headed out to Jodrell Bank to take part in their Girls’ Night Out (Under The Stars).

Billed as a girls’ night out with a difference, this evening brought together “budding Astronettes, Star-lettes and Cosmic Girls” of all ages, who have an interest in physics, astronomy and planetary science. Over 100 women (and 1 man!) attended the event, over 30% of who were aged 12-16. This was a great turn out, and hopefully inspired some of those girls to study STEM subjects beyond GCSE level.

All set up and ready to go…

The evening kicked off with cocktails and a talk by Prof Philippa Browning, Professor of Astrophysics  at Manchester University. Visitors then took part in different activities including learning how to use a telescope to discover more about the night sky and watching a night sky presentation in the pop-up planetarium.

Examining meteorite thin sections

We took a selection of lunar rocks and meteorites along for visitors to look at. The women were thrilled to hold the moon in one hand and Mars in the other! It was great to chat with women who have a genuine interest in science, and tell them more about the research we do.

Spiral galaxy cupcake.

There was also the opportunity to decorate astronomy themed cupcakes, with a competition for the best design. I was too lazy to decorate mine, I just ate it (chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, very nice!) but there were some amazing designs entered into the competition. I understand that the carpet and some of the staff at Jodrell Bank are now covered in edible glitter! But I think that will just make it look like its a special sparkly, stary carpet!

There are some more photos from this event on our Facebook page.

Many thanks to the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration, LPI/NLSI for providing posters and postcards, and to the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) for loaning us the lunar and meteorite samples.

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About Sarah Crowther

I'm a Post Doc in the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry group. I study xenon isotope ratios using the RELAX mass spectrometer, to try to learn more about the origins and evolution of our solar system. I look at a wide range of samples from solar wind returned by NASA's Genesis mission to zircons (some of the oldest known terrestrial rocks), from meteorites to presolar grains.
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One Response to Girls Night Out

  1. Pingback: Science Spectacular | Earth & Solar System

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