ASTRON/JIVE Daily Image

ASTRON livens up exhibition of Nebra sky disc

© Lisanne Bötger

Last week, the Drents Museum opened their exhibition of the Nebra sky disc. This first realistic representation of the night sky, dating from around 1750 BC, was discovered in Nebra in Germany in 1999. The disc belongs to the collection of the Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte in Halle (Germany) and is very rarely lent out.

To whet the appetite of the museum visitors for astronomy even more, ASTRON hosted a stand just outside the museum where we showed how we explore the Universe nowadays and the instruments we use to do so. Using a model of a HBA and LBA antenna, my colleague Pietro Zucca and I explained how LOFAR works and showed examples of science cases both far (Epoch of Reionization) and close (space weather) to home.

For children (and adults) we brought the 'black hole experiment', where we explain gravity with some trampoline canvas, lead balls and marbles. As much as we enjoy performing this experiment, which children always love, the highlight of my day was a 9-year-old girl who explained the experiment to me instead of the other way around. This girl was very much into astronomy, her mother told me, and she was encouraging her daughter to explore it. The mother wanted to study astronomy herself when she was in primary school, but was discouraged by her teacher who said that astronomy was not a suitable study for girls. This reminded me that it continues to be important to use every opportunity we can get to highlight how crucial diversity is for science. And I am very sure we will see this 9-year-old girl at one of our Girlsday events soon.

If you happen to be in Assen (the Netherlands) on Sunday 14 August, do stop by and say hello at our stand. The Nebra sky disc is definitely worth a visit and is on display until 18 September 2022 in the Drents Museum.



Submitter: Frank Nuijens

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