Corvedale News Article April 2019

Article for Corvedale News and Ripples Magazines April 2019 editions

Jodrell Bank

On Tuesday 5th March all the children from Corvedale Primary School visited The Jodrell Bank Observatory near Holmes Chapel in Cheshire. The following is a recount made up from extracts written by children from Y6.

After a long slow journey, I stepped off the coach to see the massive telescope towering over the trees. I was amazed. The Lovell Telescope seemed so much larger in real life than images I’d seen.

Jodrell Bank, home to the third largest moveable telescope dish in the world is part of the University of Manchester. Their telescopes and other amazing pieces of technology can look far out into the universe.

First we went to the Solar System workshop, where there were four different stations. The first one I did was the gravity experiment… we had to weigh bottles A-F and record how many Newton each weighed. We were finding out how much gravity was on each planet. We matched the lightest bottle to the planet with the least gravity, Mercury. Jupiter was the heaviest so it has the most gravity.

The sunlight experiment involved measuring the amount of light from a lightbulb. Our conclusion was the further away from the light bulb you are, the brightness goes down. This is the same with the Sun’s light.

In the meteorite experiment we had a chart and we matched the different rocks up to what they are. One of them was a real meteorite! The difference between a meteorite and a meteor is that the meteor is in the sky but burns up and it doesn’t hit the ground. A meteorite falls to the Earth.
I learned that a rock with a dark, bumpy surface that acts as a magnet is a Lodestone.

The Mars experiment was super fun because we had to put sand into a small tube and then use a pipette to add water. Once we had added the two ingredients we used an indicator paper to see which sands were acid, alkali or neutral. We did this because this is the type of experiment scientists are doing to find out if aliens are living on Mars.

Next we went to have a closer look at the Lovell Telescope. I learned loads of information. It is a radio telescope that picks up faint signals from across the universe. It can detect a signal from a mobile phone if you were standing on the surface of Mars. It weighs 3200 tonnes. This awesome telescope was the world’s biggest when built, 76.2 metres in diameter. The Lovell Telescope is a special shape (a paraboloid) that helps concentrate the waves into a very small area. When it snows the controller faces the dish down to tip the snow out.

Once we had admired the telescope we visited the Planet Pavilion. On the ceiling was the Jodrell Bank Orrery, a moving model of our Solar System. I turned the handle to make it move. The model moves very fast. Luckily one minute on the orrery is the same as one Earth year. Both in real life and on the orrery Mercury orbits the Sun the fastest and Neptune the slowest. Although the orrery was super realistic, it was obviously not to scale. I thought he orrery was incredible.

Outside was a scale model of the solar system. We walked to the different planets along the walk and decided which was which. We didn’t see Uranus or Neptune because they were so far away.

In the space pavilion we looked at lots of things. One was a heat camera, hot things were white and cold things were blue. The hottest thing on my body was my face. My fingers were the coldest. When I touched the plasma ball the electricity was attracted to my hand. The electricity went through my body into the floor. One of the activities was about black holes. When rolling a small ball into the black hole we found out that gravity pulls the ball in but there is friction slowing it down.

I really enjoyed my trip. My favourite thing was the space pavilion. I hope to go their again soon but not on a bus. Thank you to all the people at Jodrell Bank for letting us look round their amazing space centre.

Extracts from Poppy, Madison, Finley, Zane, Alexia, Amber and Daniel.

Jonathan Brough
Corvedale CE Primary School