Primary School Students Use Telescopes to Explore New Horizons


The New Horizons spacecraft has been all over the news this week as it finally reached Pluto after travelling through space for nine years.

Nine years is a long time in the darkness of space, but how long do you think New Horizons would take to travel to the nearest star beyond our Solar System? The answer is over three million years!

This means our only real way of exploring the Universe is with telescopes. And now Universe in the Classroom is making these tools available to our partner primary school all over Wales.

Messier 83 (spiral galaxy)

Over the last two weeks, 287 primary school students aged 7-12 years were given a special end-of-term treat when we invited them to explore the wonders of the cosmos using LCOGT’s robotic telescope network.

Universe in the Classroom teamed up with the Inspiring Science Education and astroEDU projects to run eight astronomy workshops in five welsh primary schools.

The workshops covered a range of interesting topics, including alien life, exoplanets, the scale of the Universe and cosmic objects, but the highlight of each workshop was access to research-class telescopes across the world to delve into space.


The objects the students investigated with the telecopes during these workshops ranged from the colourful dust clouds of planetary nebulae to densly populated globular clusters. A selection of the best images taken by the pupils can be seen below.

Universe in the Classroom will continue offering primary schools access to this amazing resource forthe next three years, so don’t miss out! If you’re a primary school student or teacher in Wales and want a chance to explore the cosmos, contact unawe@astro.cf.ac.uk!