Grand Finale – Painting inspired by the Cassini Mission to Saturn
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Also in Exploring the Solar System Exploring the Solar System: The Mass of the Sun Marvellous Mars Drawing Workshop at Dunsink Observatory Dublin Astronomical Sketching – Education in action Stars Wonderful Stars at Wexford Town Library Ireland Get ready the Perseids are coming Space the final Frontier – World Space Week 2016 On the richness of the lunar surface Dark Sky Magic at Ballycroy National Park Mayo Ireland Grand Finale – Painting inspired by the Cassini Mission to Saturn Cosmic Lobster Pot A Slice of Solar Drawing in h-alpha View the entire series … Continue reading

Space the final Frontier – World Space Week 2016
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“Space: the final frontier. ” The opening line of the famous quote from Star Trek, the missions aim ” to boldly go where no man (or woman) has gone before. ” During Spaceweek 2016 I had the opportunity to take 360 children and their teachers on an exploration of moons in our solar system and the very topical planet Mars . Through listening and drawing they experienced a small awakening to the robotic images which are unveiling the beauty of other worlds, increasing our understanding with every single pixel. My workshop Deadly Moons now includes the stunning New Horizons image of Charon Pluto’s largest moon. The children loved the Star Wars names on its craters . They enjoyed linking Charon’s features to familiar books and movies. The workshop also showcases the incredable images of Saturn’s moons taken by the Cassini Spacecraft. In order to make my workshop Marvellous Mars extra interesting for the groups I made a model of Mars … Continue reading

ExoMars Orbiter and Lander Begin 7 Month Journey to the Red Planet
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The first mission of the European Space Agency’s  ExoMars programme has lifted off on a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, and is on its way to Mars. The mission includes the Trace Gas Orbiter, plus the Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing demonstrator module. The mission will arrive at Mars in October of 2016. The main objectives of the mission are to search for evidence of methane and other trace atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes, and to test key technologies in preparation for ESA’s contribution to future Mars missions. Three days before reaching Mars, the Schiaparelli lander will detach from the orbiter, and coast towards atmospheric entry. It will enter the atmosphere at 21,000 km/hr, aerobraking and then deploying parachutes. A thruster system system will be used for the final stage of its descent. The lander will operate on the surface of Mars for 2-4 sols (Martian days). The scientific mission for the Trace … Continue reading