Observatory’s theme park was opened with a sunny family day

Kairi Janson | 16.05.2018

Last autumn, Tartu Observatory’s theme park called Vision of Invisible, Feeling of Unknown was created. To festively celebrate the opening, a family day was held a day before Mother’s Day, May 12 2018.

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„The distances used in space research can go up to thousands of millions metres. The new attractions at Tartu Observatory theme park give one a chance to look at the Universe from afar: to recede from the Earth,“ said head of Tartu Observatory Visitor Centre Tanel Liira. A size scale, sun clock, observation field and models of the Solar System and the galaxy were created to provide visitors with exiting emotions.

Besides the theme park, the participants could look at the Sun with special instruments. “Firstly, with special solar eclipse glasses that make the Sun look like a full moon, secondly, with a regular lens telescope with attenuation lenses through which sunspots could be seen, and thirdly with a special hydrogen alpha telescope which brought out the solar protuberances,” said Research Fellow of the Department of Physics of Galaxies and Cosmology Taavi Tuvikene.

Outdoors, the families could take part of an orientation game and create GPS-figures – for example constellations – by themselves. They were also organized a photo hunt.

In the main building, the visitors could attend workshops. “We were happy to see that so many people came, especially lots of children. We had plenty of people at the workshops and everyone felt good,” Liira stated. Among other things, remote sensing, the European Space Agency, and exoplanets were introduced. One could also get an overview of the journey of ESTCube. Visitors could see computer simulations of galactic collisions and watch Tarmo Haud’s movie called Northern Lights. The space technology laboratories were introduced during the entire day.

Music and dance accompanied the whole event. For example, there were performances by both folk and line dance groups. Among others, Pille Lille Music Fond singers, classic singing students from Heino Eller Music College came to perform. Last year, the performers who stepped on the outside stage had to pick which side to perform to but this year their stage was in the centre of the audience. “People had come with picnic baskets and blankets,” said Liira.

The observatory’s band also took over the stage. Liira stated that the audience greatly enjoyed their performance. “People were surprised by their competency,” he said.

In total, about 500 people attended the event.

You can come and see the theme park anytime. The attractions are free.

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