Thursday, July 29, 2010

Evening astronomy sessions on the Costa del Sol

Last night I had the pleasure of attending one of the Benalmadena astronomy sessions, held each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, on top of Calamorro Mountain, overlooking Benalmadena.

The sessions are held at 10:00pm and easy to find - take the Teleferico Cable car run, which starts from next to Tivoli World theme park entrance, Benalmadena. The dramatic mountain top location, as well as offering excellent night views along the coast, is great for star gazing due to its lack of light polution.

Two sessions are run, side by side, for English and Spanish speakers.

It's the first time I have attended an Astronomy 'show' and found it amazing. Ken Campbell, the coast's leading British Astronomer, gave an excellent presentation with a mix of powerpoint slideshow, 'hands on' looking through the telescope, and crowd participation with the kids taking their part acting as parts of the solar system.

The session was very information, and helps further 'blow your mind' at the scale and complexity of space.

During the 'hands on' sessions we managed to take a close up look at Venus, Saturn (I saw the rings of Saturn so that's another one of life's ambitions ticked off) and the craters of the moon, amongst other night sky wonders.

I left with a far better understanding of the sky at night and fired up enough to give my telescope a dusting down!

Highly recommended.

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