COSMIC connections were abound at Hagley Catholic High School last Monday (Sepember 28) when students got up close and personal with rare moon rocks and impressive meteorites.
The exclusive opportunity to enjoy a unique interactive experience of astronomy enabled sixth-formers to touch a piece of space.
Included in the educational pack was a 1.2billion-year-old fragment of Mars and a 4.3billion-year-old nickel meteorite.
Students described the chance to hold these specimens as ‘an honour.’
Specimens also included the carbonaceuous chondrites, which contain fragments of the previous solar system, as well as the building blocks of life.
The lunar samples were provided by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), collected in the late 1960s and early 1970s during some of NASA’s first manned space missions to the Moon.
A massive 382kg of lunar material was brought back to Earth – mostly for use by scientists in their studies of the Moon, but small quantities are used to develop lunar and planetary science educational packages like this one.
The STFC said samples like these could tell us a great deal about their origins, but added we still had so much more to learn.
The organisation is dedicated to providing science outreach programmes to inspire young people and complement classroom studies.
STFC’s chief executive officer, Professor John Womersley said: “This is a great opportunity for young people to see, touch and really experience such important and exciting messengers from space – turning science fiction into science fact.
“It’s an unforgettable experience to hold such an important part of science history that’s made such an incredible journey over millions of miles to reach us – and one we hope will inspire the scientists of the future!”