Shire looks to stars in record attempt
KALAMUNDA hopes to break its way into the record books this weekend when the community attempts to break the world record for the largest astronomy lesson.
In partnership with the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), Astronomy WA, the Perth Observatory in Bickley and Scitech, organisers are seeking more than 900 people to take part in the lesson, which would break the current world record.
Shire President Sue Bilich said the current record was set in Taiwan in June, where 834 people attended.
“The official lesson, taught by astronomer Richard Tonello, will tell an interactive and engaging story of the evolution of our sun and the formation of our solar system,” she said.
Mr Tonello said a telescope or binoculars were essential to the lesson and for the numbers to be counted in the race to beat the Chinese record.
“We will observe a selected number of different targets and a nebula where stars are born, the Great Orion Nebula,” he said.
Mr Tonello said he could show budding as- tronomers stars that were about 234 light years away.
The five targets follow a logical sequence on how stars and planets are born and the lecture usually takes about 30 minutes.
Mr Tonello works as an astronomer and a university lecturer.
He said the city light would not affect the viewing because the sites chosen in space were easily visible.
Official Guinness World Record requirements state that all participants must remain throughout the 30-minute lesson and actively participate. Each person must bring their own equipment for the lesson, such as portable telescopes or binoculars.
The Shire of Kalamunda will host the record attempt at 6.30pm on February 28 at Maida Vale Reserve.
For details, call the Shire on 9257 9999.