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Big turnout for night of science and stargazing

Hundreds of stargazers visited Portsmouth Historic Dockyard this week to learn about the wonders of the universe and take a tour around the night sky.

Researchers explain the expansion of the universe using fairy lights and elastic bands.

Those who turned out for the sixth annual Stargazing event at the dockyard had the chance to chat to cosmologists from the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, listen to fascinating talks and take part in fun activities.

Among the highlights was the chance to “stroll in the cosmos” using a virtual reality headset to experience the universe as it was billions of years ago.

Other popular attractions included a demonstration of the accelerated expansion of the universe using elastic and fairy lights, the chance to classify galaxies online, sky tours and telescope demonstrations from members of Hampshire Astronomical Group and a constellation trail around HMS Warrior’s main gun deck.

Dr Jen Gupta, astrophysicist and outreach officer at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, said: “Once again the event proved to be really popular and we’re really pleased with how it went. It’s wonderful to see people of all ages engaging with astronomy and showing a fascination with the science of the universe and what they can see in the night sky.”

Pics by Pierandrea Guarnieri

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