Get starry-eyed at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
A Valentine’s Day trip to Armagh Observatory and Planetarium will show the special person in your life that you love them to the stars and back. As the trend for experiential gifts continues to rise, especially among social media users who enjoy having a unique event to share on their platforms, the Observatory and Planetarium is planning a special StarTracker evening on February 14.
This is an opportunity for couples to view the cosmos and even track down the Valentine’s Star, otherwise known as Betelgeuse. The star, which is part of the Orion constellation and one of the brightest in our sky, is particularly visible in February but that is not its only connection to Valentine’s Day. The atmosphere around Betelgeuse expands and contracts which can make it look like the light is pulsing – much like a giant beating heart in the sky.
But is Betelgeuse’s heart about to be broken? The star has been in the headlines recently as it appears to be dimming. Some experts predict it may be about to burn out in a fiery supernova explosion, making it as bright, if not brighter, than the moon in our skies for weeks after the eruption.
The StarTracker event will include a dome show, entitled, ‘We Are Stars’, narrated by Andy Serkis, as well as an astronomy talk and fascinating views of the night sky through AOP’s 12-inch telescope (weather permitting). We Are Stars seeks to answer some of the biggest questions of all time, what are we made of and where did it all come from? The film explores the secrets of our cosmic chemistry, our explosive origins and connects life on Earth to the evolution of the Universe. Beginning with the simplest atoms, We Are Stars explains how nuclear fusion in the hearts of early stars allowed the construction of more complex elements, which were then sprayed across space by vast supernova explosions, creating giant nebulae which then condensed to form new stars surrounded by planets.
Doors open at 6.30pm and guests can enjoy a complimentary hot drink. The evening gets underway with an astronomy talk at 7pm followed by a full dome show at 8pm.
Armagh Observatory and Planetarium Education & Outreach Manager, Sinead Mackle said: “We are really excited about our StarTracker evenings. It is something completely different for couples to do on Valentine’s Day and we are sure they will enjoy the experience. Instead of the traditional chocolates or flowers, we are offering the chance to surprise your Valentine with a night amongst the stars in Armagh.”
Booking for the StarTracker event is essential as places are limited. However, for those who miss out on tickets on Valentine’s Day, Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is hosting another StarTracker evening on March 27, something for all the family to enjoy.
Tickets cost: £8 per adult, child £5.75, concession £7 and family tickets are priced £25. To book your tickets visit www.armagh.space