In this issue, we take you away from the big telescopes and land you in the yard of a school (more or less)!

Is it possible to create something yourself to explore the universe with your own hands instead of just reading about it? Yes, indeed!

Students at Wuhan University in China took a radio antenna, assembled it properly, and created a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) radio telescope! With this, they measured various frequencies and wavelengths in the radio range of radiation, aiming to measure the 21-centimeter line. Here, some explanations are needed. Radio radiation, meaning wavelengths we cannot see that are longer than the optical spectrum, can pass through the atmosphere and be recorded by ground-based telescopes. The 21-centimeter line is a very specific transition when an electron changes its spin to move to a lower energy state. By measuring this line and the expansion of the universe, we can determine the velocities of objects emitting it, such as our own galaxy, or how other galaxies are moving away. Thus, the two students, Li and Hu, measured the rotation of our galaxy from a small setup at their university!

And they measured it correctly!

More information can be found in the article they submitted here

Do such things happen in Greece as well? Yes, indeed!

A teacher in Greece, along with her students, built a planetarium! It all started with Ms. Molla and her sixth-grade students from the 2nd Minority School of Komotini, who wanted to leave something behind before they graduated. So, in 2018, with their teacher’s passion for teaching and astronomy from previous programs, they built a dome in just 2 months! The teacher was transferred, the pandemic came, and the dome remained in the school’s basement.

A program for equal opportunities for students, “Together for the Child,” went to evaluate the school’s inclusion in the program, saw the dome, and was thrilled! They supported the effort and funded the planetarium. And what is happening there now?

Initially, for the school’s students: Ms. Molla uses astronomy as a means to teach the children not only about the universe but also Greek, physics, and other subjects, aiming to enhance their interaction with each other. Their performance has already improved!

What about those who don’t attend school there? Actually, anyone can visit! Over 700 students have visited the school’s basement to see the school planetarium! Additionally, it holds events for the public and is no longer just a simple visitable space; the school planetarium has joined the D-Space program, which aims to become a “hub for research, innovation, and the dissemination of astronomy in schools.” This planetarium now collaborates with IA-ITE and EL.ID.E.K. and can use the telescopes of the Skinakas Observatory online! (Wow, why didn’t I have these opportunities?)

You can find more information here: and here (Ahem, ahem, see online material here:προγράμματα-ψηφιακά-εργαλεία/)