Saturday, March 22, 2008

Armagh Observatory under financial pressure ... not sure if Planetarium affected

We were recently talking at home about Armagh Planetarium, thinking that in a year or so Littl'un will be old enough to wander around the exhibitions; she might stand a chance of sitting in the dark and getting something out of the star show, in awe at the thousands and thousands of pinpricks of light that would appear on the planetarium's roof. (Though all but one of the star shows require children to be 6+.)

So sitting tonight in Ballyhackamore's The Orient waiting for a number 67 to be prepared, it was disappointing to read in the Belfast Telegraph that the two hundred year old Armagh Observatory is under is severe financial pressure. The article didn't make it clear whether the recently renovated and reopened Planetarium (the public bit) is under the same threat as the Observatory (the science/research end).

This isn't the first post where I've made reference to my happy childhood memories of trips down to the Planetarium, and I hope the current difficulties won't mean that the next generation will miss out on an opportunity to look beyond the confines of Earth and start to explore the Solar System and universe.

To infinity and beyond ...

1 comment:

Brabazon said...

Perhaps Lembit Opik could help with this. His Grandfather was director of the Observatory and his family lived for a time in Armagh. Although, come to think of it, if Lembit's fund raising efforts on the recent 'Celebrity-Apprentice-for-Sports-Relief' thingy on BBC1 are anything to go by, it'll probably consist of a Cheeky Girl in a space suit. Perhaps the Observatory would be better served without his help... :(

I have many a happy childhood memory of the Planetarium. My old school is directly opposite it... :)