Date: Friday 24th August 2018
Time: 5pm – 11pm
Venue: The Stade, Hastings Old Town

A public engagement event dedicated to the Solar System; conceived and developed by Creative Space, a Community Interest Company providing free astronomy-based community events across the South East.

If skies are clear in the afternoon, we’ll kick off with some solar viewing – looking at the Sun through specially adapted telescopes and dedicated solar scopes. We’ll have our pop-up planetarium set up in the Hall, showing an all-new, mini Solar System film called Planets 360 (pre-registration is fully booked; very limited space available on the day). During the day, we’ll also have a bunch of drop-in, hands-on activities (Eat the Solar System, VR Space, Rocket Making, Speed of Light, and more) plus a telescope clinic, with advice about buying a telescope or getting help setting up your own equipment. And it’s all absolutely FREE!

There’ll be an array of large and small telescopes set up in the Open Space, many supplied and operated by members of local astronomical societies. This team of experts and enthusiasts will be on hand to guide you across the night sky and to share astronomical knowledge and expertise. Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be gracing the evening sky, together with distant Uranus and Neptune (visible through large telescopes). The Moon, rising at 7.18pm, will be 97% illuminated, so we’ll get a really good view of that too. So, together with the Sun, setting at 8pm, that’s a whole lot of the Solar System we might see in one day!

If clouds stop play, viewing will be back inside Stade Hall with the night’s wonders on display inside the planetarium, plus an informal talk all about the Solar System.

And if you fancy a beer, a glass of wine, or a delicious snack to keep you going, eat@ The Stade will be open until 9pm.

The best observing is under the darkest of skies. Now this is Hastings, so it’s never going to be pitch black, but the pole lights around the Open Space will be turned off for the event and lights will be dimmed inside the eat@ café. It takes 20 minutes for eyes to get used to the dark (called ‘dark adaption’), so you don’t want a white light (normal) torch to go and ruin it. You can make your own red light torch before the event, or adapt your torch in the Hall, where we’ll have the kit on hand. Or if you want to buy a red light astronomy flashlight/hands-free torch from a specialist shop, head over to 365Astronomy.

• Disabled access
• Toilets
• Refreshments (eat@ open up to 9pm)
• Parking nearby (parking info here)

5pm – 8pm:
• Solar observing (weather permitting)
• Immersive planetarium shows
• Hands-on, drop-in workshops and activities (until 7.30pm)

• Citizen science (where you can contribute to real science projects)
• Telescope Clinic: advice on setting up and buying a telescope

8pm – 11pm:
• ‘A whistle-Stop Tour of the Solar System’ public talk by William Joyce, BSc, FRAS (8-9pm)
• Guided observing of the Moon and planets (weather permitting)
• Planetarium sky tours focusing on the Solar System (from 9pm, only if cloudy outside)
• Telescope Clinic: advice on setting up and buying a telescope
• Citizen science (where you can contribute to real science projects)

“We have swept past all of the planets in the Solar System, from Mercury to Neptune, in a historic… age of spacecraft discovery.”

Carl Sagan, American Astronomer, 1934 – 1996

With special thanks to 365Astronomy who have very kindly sponsored our Space@TheStade events, to the University of Sussex Physics Department for their support, to eat@ for staying open extra late, and to all the wonderful volunteers who so kindly give up their time to help us out.