Category Archives: Planetarium and Space

Life Science Centre is home to the North’s biggest and best planetarium. Here, the skies are darker, the stars are brighter, the planets are so clearly defined, it looks like you could reach out and touch them. Want to find out more? Read on.

Collecting micrometeorites

Micrometeorites are tiny pieces of space dust washed out of the atmosphere by rain!

To collect your own, you will need:

  • Bucket or other container
  • Coffee filter paper
  • Strong magnet
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • White paper
  • Magnifying glass or microscope (optional)


  1. Put a small bucket or other container outside for a few weeks and allow it to collect some rain water.
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Put your New Year celebrations on hold, just for a second

Are you looking forward to seeing in the New Year? Well, you will have to wait a bit longer than you may have expected. A leap second will be added at midnight on 31 December 2016 to keep atomic clocks in sync with the Earth’s rotation.

Universal Coordinated Time is based on super-accurate atomic clocks and it is extremely regular.… Read more

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Book review: The Darkest Dark by Astronaut Chris Hadfield

This post is guest written by Life’s Education Officer, Liz Ferguson, with the help of her two children.

Having met Chris Hadfield earlier this year on his visit to Life I was excited to find he has recently written a book for children. The Darkest Dark is a story about a little boy (Chris) who doesn’t like the dark and is afraid to go to bed.Read more

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Tim’s Time in Space

Official NASA portrait of British astronaut Timothy Peake. Photo Date: August 28, 2013. Location: Building 8, Room 183 - Photo Studio. Photographer: Robert Markowitz

British European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake returns from the International Space Station later this month. He’s spent six months up there with NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, carrying out experiments in the unique environment of the ISS (including measuring brain pressure in space and seeing if organisms can survive on the outside of the ISS) but has still found the time to keep us entertained and amazed with day to day life in space.Read more

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Look out for the big Red Planet this week..

“The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one” he said.

In H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds Mars gets bigger in the sky as a prelude to invasion by horrific mechanical tripod aliens. So as Mars makes its closest approach to Earth for over a decade on 30 May 2016, should we be worried?Read more

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Spring is in the Air!

Flowers, bunnies, fluffy little chicks! It’s that time of year again. When spring is in the air, there’s lot of science to observe – the leaves on the trees, the lengthening days, and the warming temperatures.

All of this happens because Planet Earth is tilted. We spin on our axis once a day, but this axis is on a tilt.… Read more

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Cosmonauts: Dreaming of Space

Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space AgeThis is a tale of dreams, war and propaganda. This is a tale of nations, people and technology. This is the cold, the dark, the silence. This is space. Or at least, the tiny bit we’ve visited so far.

Many of us dream of going to space. I’d be the first to admit that I’m currently just a little bit obsessed with human spaceflight.Read more

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When is a planet not a planet?

This post was guest authored by Life Science Explainer Claire Elstob. 

Out in the farthest reaches of our solar system lies a region known as the Kuiper Belt. This disc-shaped area of icy, dark objects lies out beyond Neptune, about 30 times further from the Sun than the Earth is. The small celestial bodies out there are thought to be remnants from when the solar system first formed and, as such, may tell us about our cosmic origins.Read more

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Space 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Space Travel, Astronauts and the ISS

Destination SpaceI’m not a scientist. I’m not an astronomer or an astrophysicist, and I’m certainly not an astronaut. I do, however, think space is super cool. So earlier this year when I was asked to visit the National Space Centre in Leicester for a briefing about a project called Destination Space, I was pretty excited.Read more

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Chris Hadfield: What a Legend

Chris Hadfield at LifeIt’s been quite a weekend here at Life. It’s not often we get to welcome a real
astronaut to our Science Centre and join the public in listening to their stories, asking them questions and feeling inspired. But that’s exactly what we did yesterday when Commander Chris Hadfield came to visit.
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