Solar System Walk Report

7 years 10 months ago

As part of the STEPtember Walks in the Cambrian Mountains, our Elan Valley Astronomy Rangers organised a marathon 5,913,000,000 km walk.

Thanks to the 25 people who turned up on Friday evening, the 19th Sept, in the Elan Valley.

The Elan Valley ‘Astro’ Rangers Les, Kris and Sam had paced out each of the Planets of our Solar System to scale along the 1.7 km walk, which followed the cycle path alongside the Caban Coch reservoir to the Foel Tower. Pictures of each Planet … to the same scale as the walk…were placed alongside the track displaying basic information about the body in question.

By defying the laws of physics and walking faster than the speed of light, our hardy astronauts launched on a mission of exploration from the Sun with the dwarf planet Pluto as the eventual destination. On route, our party were introduced to each of the Planets in turn, with Mission Specialists giving topical information about each body as we encountered it. Passage through the dangerous asteroid belt was safely achieved, …at least no complaints of impacts were heard in the control room!!!! …. and our explorers continued through the realm of the gas giants out to distant Pluto.

During a pause to recharge our warp generators out at Pluto, our astronauts were introduced to the true “interstellar” distances involved, when they discovered just how much further they would need to travel got get to the next nearest star… which using the same scale of the walk would actually be Java !!!
Boldly, they decided against this journey! and instead we all safely returned to our start point……. Who knows, maybe next year?

Again a BIG thanks to all who turned up to make this walk and talk worthwhile, and last but not least, thanks to Head Ranger Alan Samuel for making refreshments available from the Visitors Centre Café at the end of the evening. Shame the clouds kept us from doing some real observing using our telescopes.

Mission Specialists were Les & Kris Fry, volunteer “Astro” Rangers for the Elan Valley and part of the team who are working on the Elan Valley Dark Sky Application.

For those interested in Astronomy here in Mid Wales, why not join us on our facebook page… Elan Valley Astronomy.

In other dark skies news, check out what Powys Dance are up to.

Clear skies !