Earlier this year the people of Lockleaze came together to explore a question — “Why do rainbows make me happy?” It’s a surprisingly tricky question. After all, a rainbow can mean different things to different people, and no two people will see the same rainbow.

The question would be explored through art created by the entire community. But no sooner had work began than the world changed dramatically, and the people of Lockleaze were faced with an even trickier question.

How can a community come together to create art, when it must be apart for its own safety?

“Why do…

Stargazing is for everyone. All you have to do is step out into your garden or look out your window on a clear night and the wonder of space is yours to discover. It’s a nice idea, but does it actually reflect the reality faced by many of us?

Perhaps you live in the middle of a city, where light pollution from cars, buildings, and street lamps drown out all but the very brightest stars? Perhaps you live in a place where cloudless nights are few and far between? …

Saturn is a gas giant, made of mostly hydrogen and helium. It’s big enough to fit about 800 Earths inside. Despite its awesome size it’s dwarfed by another gas giant in our Solar System.

Jupiter has often been called the “Monarch of the Planets”. It’s big enough to fit roughly 1300 Earths. In size at least, Saturn must make do with second place.

There are however, other areas where Saturn has Jupiter beat. Of all the planets, save perhaps for our home planet Earth, Saturn is the most famous and memorable. …

Ask anyone to name the biggest planet in our Solar System and chances are most people would be able to name Jupiter. Jupiter is indeed, very big. More than 1300 planet Earths would fit into this gas giant. But Jupiter has a lot more going for it than just being really, really big. The king of planets is a mysterious world of turbulent storms that’s surrounded by rings, moons, and even LEGO (yes, LEGO!).

But let’s not understate just how big Jupiter is. It’s around 140,000 kilometres in diameter. That’s even bigger than the smallest star. Jupiter’s not just big…

Have you ever noticed a bright point of orangey-red light shining in the night-sky? Chances are you’ve spotted Mars — a planet that’s captivated humankind for thousands of years. Throughout time that orangey-red light has meant different things to different people. Long ago we were curious about its colour and the way it moved across the sky. Eventually we began to ask ourselves what — or who — could be living on this distant world. These days we’re wondering, can we get people on the surface of Mars? …

During the Spring it’s possible to see one of the most famous constellations. It’s a favourite of mine because it’s big, bright, and easy to spot. There have also been some fantastic stories told about it over the years. This constellation is called Leo. For centuries, when people have looked up at Leo they’ve imagined a gigantic lion racing across the night sky.

Constellations are patterns of stars that form imaginary pictures in the sky. There are 88 constellations that have been officially named by the International Astronomical Union. They cover the entire sky on both sides of the world…

Have you ever looked at the sky early in the evening, just after sunset? Or maybe the early morning sky, just before dawn? You may occasionally have noticed a really bright point of light low down in the sky, just above the houses. You wouldn’t be the first to notice it. In fact, people have been describing “the morning star” or “the evening star” for centuries. These days we know it’s a planet rather than a star. If you’ve ever spotted it, congratulations — you’ve found planet Venus!

Venus appears just before dawn or just after sunset because it’s between…

Credit: Stellarium/ Johan Meuris

On a dark, clear night it’s possible to see thousands of stars glittering in the sky. Exploring the night sky can be an exciting experience. It’s an amazing feeling, clinging to the side of Planet Earth and staring out into the rest of the Universe!

But for anyone new to stargazing, the night sky can be a beautiful but intimidating sight. There are so many stars up there — where do I start? Where do I look? How on Earth can anyone possibly see pictures among all those dots?

Long before I started working as the Assistant Planetarium Producer at…

My star sign, Taurus. Credit: Stellarium/Johan Meuris

One of my favourite aspects of being a member of the Planetarium presenter team at We the Curious is talking to visitors after a show and discovering what they’re curious about. Astrology is a topic that comes up a lot during these discussions.

For example, we are often asked “where can I find my star sign?” This is a very interesting question with an answer that involves more science and history than you might imagine.

Is astrology different from astronomy?

Astrology is a pseudoscience that involves studying the movements and relative positions of celestial objects in an attempt to divine…

Saturn’s Rose. Credit: Evans & Sutherland’s Digistar 6

— Paul Cornish, Assistant Planetarium Producer

Part One can be read here!

Last week I began attempting to stave off my yearning to get back into the We the Curious Planetarium by investigating the science and history behind one my favourite Planetarium Shows — Holst’s Planets 3D. (Read Part 1 here!) The show involves Gustav Holst’s famous seven-movement orchestral suite played over specially created 3D visuals of the Solar System. A member of our Planetarium Team (sometimes me!) controls the visuals in a live performance in front of an audience.

I began to examine the images conjured by Holst’s music…

Paul Cornish

Assistant Planetarium Producer and Digital Content Researcher at We the Curious. Literally an Urban Spaceman.

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