Children explore the stars at Winchester Science Centre

Hampshire Chronicle: Alresford and Cheriton Cub Scout pack Alresford and Cheriton Cub Scout pack

THEY may have stars in their eyes but these youngsters are more likely to want to become astronauts or astronomers than famous singers.

Some 70 children from three Cub Scout and Brownie packs from across the county enjoyed exploring the moon, stars and beyond at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium in Morn Hill on Monday March 3.

All of the youngsters were working towards their stargazer badge.

Winchester Science Centre organised the evening as part of National Astronomy Week (March 1 to March 8).

The Brownies and Cub Scouts were able to earn the badge by completing six activities, including a planet quiz, pointing out the Plough, finding the North Star and creating a flicker book to show phases of the moon.

The highlight was special show in the planetarium featuring the sky at night.

Planetarium officer Alex Boxley, 27, a former Cub Scout with a degree in physics, said: “Jupiter is brighter than any other star in the sky at the moment. We are giving the children a few tools to unlock views of the night sky.”

Among the Cub Scouts to take part were Molly Martindale, eight, Ellie Spain, nine and Freddie Stretch, all from Alresford and Cheriton Cubs (Thursday group).

Ellie said: “It’s been really fun to learn names of the stars and constellations and how to get to them.” Molly added: “It would be cool to travel in space but you might miss your family as it takes quite a long time.”

Cub Scout Leader, Akela Abbi Spain said: “They are all very excited. It is important they learn about their surroundings.”

Brown Owl Rosalie Burnett of 1st Nursling and Rownhams Brownie Pack added: “It gets them outside and looking up at the night sky. It is something different.”

Other activities at Winchester Science Centre include an adults-only “After Dark” presenter-led planetarium show called “Flight Through The Universe” on Wednesday March 5 with astronomer Dr Jen Gupa from the University of Portsmouth and Saturday Night at the Planetarium on March 8 with a new presenter-led show called “Aliens – are we alone.”

For details see www.winchestersciencecentre.org or call 01962 863791.

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