Saturday, March 7, 2009

Perkins Observatory...Go there!

I took my niece and nephew to the Perkin's Observatory on Friday night. Although it was cloudy we still had a wonderful time looking at all the exhibits and playing around on the computers in the library.

I have always liked science and experiments but I like a good show even more. Tom Burns does an amazing job of making astronomy entertaining and informative. His funny delivery and interesting facts made me want to learn more about our universe. I came away with a new appreciation of just how tiny we all are. Once you see where you exist in relation to the rest of the galaxy it kind of messes with your head a bit. I not only learned about earth but some of the other planets in our solar system. Tom explained the many reasons why it doesn't pay to visit Venus. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Venus's air is made of hydrochloric acid.
2. The weight of air pressing down on you would squash you into a thin pancake.
3. You would then be fried into a crispy pancake because the temperature on Venus is a balmy 900 degrees. I guess that gives new meaning to a hunk of burnin' love.

But the worst part would be the acid rain that would dissolve you into a lovely mist.

We also learned that Saturn:

1. Doesn't really have rings. The "rings" are actually the many orbiting moons of Saturn with some other particles thrown in here and there.
2. Saturn is a liquid planet composed of hydrogen. Because it is liquid it rotates more quickly than earth. Saturn takes 10 hours to make one revolution as opposed to the earth which of course takes 24 hours.
3. Because Saturn rotates so quickly and it made of liquid the planet bulges out at the center.

Beside the cool library computers they have wonderful displays in the basement. Hands down the winner for me and my niece and nephew was a dark room with a red button console. You press a button and a galaxy would light up . I liked our galaxy they best.

We then got a tour of the observatory by Jay Elkes. He had this really high pitch voice and wonderful comedic timing. The observatory was built in the 1930's and is still using the same pulley system to operate the dome. My nephew got to push the button's to turn the dome(how cool was that). He also got hit in the head with the flashlight-he was standing to close to our tour guide-total accident.

What Kaylin thought about the Observatory:
I liked the dome of the observatory. The microscope itself. I like the teacher-you know the guy who was talking about the stars(Tom Burns). Then I liked the computers-they were really high tech. I didn't like the smell, it smelled like strong sweaty science-it just didn't smell good if you know what I mean. It smelled old. I like the dark star room with all the galaxies.

What Eddie III thought about the Observatory:

I liked the way you could see the moon and the crater's on it. uhmmm The good thing about the dude that was talking aka Jay Elkes when he talked he had Lot's of humor. I felt nervous when I was asked to push the button that turns the dome. The telescope was cool to see but I thought it would show this really red beam that would shoot out the sky and hit the moon and make a piece fall to earth or something. I would probably go again if I had V.I.P access.

What I liked about the Observatory
It was an affordable outing for you and the kids. I paid $14.00 for my nephew,niece and I. You can't got to the movies for that now during matinee prices. If you have any interest in space or astronomy please visit the Perkins observatory. You won't be sorry. Just a little drive down 23(or high st) in Delaware and you'll get to see something out of this world.


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