Shire looks to stars in record at­tempt

Avon Valley Gazette - - CITY BEACH -

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.

Richard Tonello.

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