Activities for Senior Groups
In the Observatório do Lago Alqueva – OLA one can find activities centered on Astronomy.
“Astronomical Observation” Activity
Classes with +12 participants: 5€ per participant, 1 coordinator per 12 participants.
Groups with +12 participants: 5€ per participant (two activities), 1 coordinator per 12 students.
Astronomical observation session, with telescopes and binoculars. Explanations about the visible constellations and motions of the celestial sphere.
Solar observation sessions, with safe telescopes specific for the sun. The nature of the Sun, as a star, its origin and evolution is explored. The dangers associated with the solar observation are also emphasized.
By building a sundial, the relations between day and night and the Earth’s rotation are explored. Moreover the variation of the length of the day and the connection with the tilt of Earth’s axis and the movement of translation around the sun are motivated.
In this activity, the participants learn why there is a day and night, why the Moon phase changes daily and what eclipses are. The participants use models of the Earth and Moon, exposed to the light of a projector which emulate the Sun.
Activity where impacts of meteorites and crater formation are simulated. The effect of the density and impact velocity have on the crater formation is analysed. The formation of the lunar surface is also explored.
Weight, after all, what is it? – Exploring the relation between mass, weight and gravity
In this activity, the participants are introduced to the concepts of weight and mass and their relation with gravitational acceleration. The concept of gravitational force and free fall is also explored.
The composition of light and its propagation is explored in this activity via the analysis of images of rainbows and by using the decomposition of light using prisms. Spectroscopy is presented as the way to learn the composition of stars.
The solar system viewed in detail. The planets are presented one by one and their physical properties and particular features are analysed. The activity can be done using software or by visiting our 400m solar system to scale.
With a computer software, the Earth night sky is simulated and typical planets, galaxies and nebulas from outside sessions are identified and thoroughly explained.
How do the ESO telescopes really work?
Questions such as how the small telescopes at home and the biggest telescopes in the world magnify the images of distant objects, and how astronomers find new planets around other stars, will be addressed.
This are simple instruments that allow one to know the time by the observation of the Ursa Minoris Constellation (also known as Small Dipper, Small Bear, etc). Questions such as the Earth rotation, the origin of day and night and the orientation by the Northern Star are also explored.