13 Sep 2023
Armagh Observatory and Planetarium has added two new interactive outdoor activity trails to its stellar visitor experience.
Northern Ireland’s astronomical research and education centre, Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, has created a new interactive outdoor activity further enhancing the experience it provides for visitors.
The astronomy-themed Cosmo Lost in Space trail is for children, whilst Astropark Journey, an augmented reality trail, is for an adult audience.
Young adventurers must follow the trail marked on a map to discover clues and locate the 11 Cosmo Lost in Space markers located along the route. Once all the clues have been collected, they will be able to decipher a secret code word to help Cosmo launch his spaceship and return home.
Astropark Journey is a self-led tour of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium’s Astropark, which is a natural outdoor setting in which there is a scale model of the universe. The technology for the interactive trail is downloadable to personal mobile phones via a QR code obtainable within the Planetarium.
A journey through the Astropark is a chance to learn about the cosmos and our place in space as well as the ground-breaking research and discoveries made in Armagh Observatory, and how it has been measuring the weather every day since 1795.
The Astropark has also been made more accessible, with new signage in braille, additional paths and seating areas, and a panoramic viewing gallery within an ecology area that overlooks the city of Armagh.
The new trails add to the range of events and experiences already available at the Planetarium. These include a variety of shows in its dome theatre that explore the wonders of the universe as well as an extensive exhibition area.
Interactive displays at Armagh Planetarium, Co. Armagh.
A visit to Armagh also offers the chance to visit the city’s two cathedrals and explore the city’s position as the spiritual capital of the island of Ireland.
There is also the wonderful Armagh Robinson Library founded in the eighteenth century which houses a wealth of treasures including medieval manuscripts, incunabula (books printed before 1501) and Jonathan Swift’s own copy of Gulliver’s Travels with notes in Swift’s own handwriting.
And beyond the city there is lots more to explore including the award-winning Navan Centre & Fort, one of Ireland’s most famous and important archaeological sites whose story is told through guided tours and in the high-tech visitors centre.
Lovers of stargazing should also head for the OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory at Davagh Forest in neighbouring County Tyrone. The purpose-built stargazing facility has a fascinating exhibition that uses immersive technology and interpretative panels to help fans of the night sky explore the solar system. There’s also the chance to don a virtual reality headset to witness the birth of a star and an outdoor film screening that takes viewers on a journey through time and space.
Armagh Planetarium, Co. Armagh.
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Co. Armagh.
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