November 30, 2022 10:28am
Last Tuesday, all of Year 7 had a very special visit to St Mary’s Church to see the Museum of the Moon and to hear a talk about the moon from David Bacon, Professor of Cosmology from the University of Portsmouth. The Museum of the Moon is an art installation by artist Luke Jerram which was being displayed in St Mary’s Church as part of the We Shine Portsmouth Festival. It is a scale model of the moon measuring 7 metres in diameter.
Professor Bacon’s presentation on the moon ties into the unit on Space in the Year 7 Science curriculum. Students learned some fascinating facts about the moon from Professor Bacon. Did you know that surface temperatures on the moon range between 130 degrees celsius and minus 130 degrees celsius? And, if you ever wondered why some parts of the moon were darker than others, it’s because the darker areas are lowlands made of volcanic rock. There have only ever been 12 people on the moon and all of them men but within the next 3 years, we may see the first woman land on the moon with the Artemis 3 mission.
Towards the end of the presentation, there was a Q&A session and the Year 7 students eagerly asked Professor Bacon a series of questions. They wondered how many craters were on the moon; the answer is millions, but the earth only has about 200. One student was curious about whether there was other life on the moon and another wanted to know what would happen if the moon exploded!
So, what if one fancies a trip to the moon? How can you get there? Professor Bacon explained that there are currently very limited options for travelling to the moon. You’d either have to become an astronaut with NASA or the European Space Agency. Or you’d have to become friends with a billionaire, such as Elon Musk, who could give you a lift there. Professor Bacon predicts that the cost of space travel will fall in the next decade and space tourism will become more commonplace. Perhaps, in the few decades time, schools could be taking students to visit the moon!
Before leaving St Marys Church, each tutor group had the opportunity to take a closer look at the moon, walking underneath and all around the installation to view the far side of the moon. What a memorable visit it was for Year 7!