Year 10 Physics Visit to the Melbourne Planetarium

On Friday 1 November the Year 10 Physics classes visited the Melbourne Planetarium at Scienceworks.

The Planetarium is a fully immersive experience where students (and members of the public) can explore the night sky and discover some of the amazing science behind the familiar views of the sky.

The particular show that we saw was “Ticket to the Universe”. This show takes the students through a journey from near Earth satellites that surround the Earth through the solar system, out to the stars of the Milky Way and all the way to the edge of the known universe. The students can see how the stars of the night sky combine to create the familiar shapes we know as constellations and how these shapes are part of the much bigger whole of the Milky Way galaxy. Then the system moves out and shows how the Milky Way is only one galaxy among billions in the universe. The show describes how bigger and better telescopes have helped expand our view of the universe and led to some of the biggest discoveries of modern Physics.

After the Planetarium show the students had time to explore the rest of Scienceworks and the exhibits on display. Most popular were the interactive sport themed displays that allowed students to test their reflexes, strength and speed. From riding a virtual surfboard, jumping against a laser height measuring device or testing their sprinting starts against Cathy Freeman, the students had the chance to test their abilities.

The Planetarium is a great opportunity to take Physics out of the classroom and give everyone a chance to literally “see the Big Picture”.

John Liakakos
Physics Teacher