Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) have been working hard during the lockdown period keeping our followers engaged with fun and interesting videos, talks and information on the topic of science and astronomy. Alongside experiments parents and their children can do at home, bedtime stories and interviews with colleagues within AOP, the education team have been looking for innovative ways to capture the imagination of the public and, in their new feature, they are really shooting for the stars!

In the “Five Questions With…” interview series the team reach out to Scientists and Engineers from different organisations across the globe from Harvard University to CALTECH. Based on the research conducted by the individual, the questions were tailored to suit their speciality.

In our series we have Professor Debra Fischer of Yale University, who discovered the first multi-planetary system around a star other than our Sun, and Dr. Mike Brown of CALTECH, notable for his discovery of the dwarf planet Eris in 2005, which ultimately led to the demotion of Pluto in 2006.

Professor Debra Fischer

The team spoke to Tom Kerss, a freelance astronomer and science communicator who, when not appearing on TV, writes articles, speaks on radio, publishes children’s books and works on his podcast. Also in the lineup is Professor Alyssa Goodman from Harvard University, who is a specialist in Science Education, and leads the effort creating the high-dimensional linked-view exploratory data visualization software known as “glue.”

Closer to home, we contacted Niamh Shaw, an author and well-known name in Irish science communication, not to mention a woman well known for her love of all things space, and a passion to get there one day.

Niamh Shaw

The jewel in the crown however is the interview with Helen Sharman, the first British Astronaut to go to Space in 1991. Helen has a packed schedule, regardless of lockdown, but she was able to spare a few minutes of her time to talk to us about what life was like in micro-gravity, and describe her time aboard the Mir Space Station. Needless to say, we asked Helen more than five questions!

So, tune in on Saturday 6th June at 4pm on our Facebook page or YouTube for the launch of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium’s “Five Questions With…” weekly interview series, and get a glimpse of who we managed to get an interview with. We’re excited about it and we hope you are too!

Debra Fischer06/06/2020 @ 4pm
Louise Harra13/06/2020 @ 4pm
Tom Kerss20/06/2020 @ 4pm
Helen Sharman27/06/2020 @ 4pm
Alyssa Goodman4/07/2020 @ 4pm
Niamh Shaw11/07/2020 @ 4pm
Mike Brown18/07/2020 @ 4pm

Facebook: @armaghplanet

YouTube: Armagh Observatory and Planetarium


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