Astronomy is in vogue: “Space particularly fascinates young people”
1/2 Venus, Jupiter and the Moon were clearly visible (photo: Joost Smits).
The Northern Lights that can be seen in Brabant and the rest of the Netherlands. Jupiter and Venus kiss in the sky. According to President Herman Vissia of the Tivoli Observatory in Oudenbosch, astronomy or astronomy is “totally hot”. “Especially among youth.”
For Vissia, just like the sky last week, it’s crystal clear: “In fact, we notice it everywhere at the observatory. He is increasingly busy during lessons and information evenings. We also see more and more parents with children coming here. Quite strange to see,” Vissia said enthusiastically.
Because enthusiasm for astronomy is not lacking at the observatory. “It’s wonderful to see this enthusiasm among the public as well. It’s not a dramatic increase of course, but we’ve seen a growing interest in recent years, especially from young people.
“We receive primary schools, but also groups with elderly people.”
Interest has also grown in other observatories in recent years, such as the Halley Observatory in Heesch. “Without a doubt. We are fully booked well in advance. We are busy with her, and in fact in all age groups. We have primary schools, but also groups with older people, ”says Urijan Poerink van Halley.
“Well, a cause? Well, there’s a lot of publicity about the lunar flights that have started again,” says Poerink. “There will also be more large telescopes. Space fascinates people and that makes sense. That’s why we’ve always been busy for the thirty years we’ve been around. But now it is clearly increasing, that is.
Why young people in particular and why now? Herman Vissia knows “a little” why, he thinks. “Stories about Jupiter, Venus and the Northern Lights are certainly helpful. But we believe that the Internet is mainly of interest.
“Nowadays, cameras are glued to everything. Beautiful pictures.”
Internet, by which Vissia primarily refers to social media and video platforms such as YouTube and TikTok. “Cameras are glued to everything these days. This produces beautiful, high-resolution images. For example, space transportation company SpaceX launches a rocket twice a week and broadcasts the images.”
Carlo Jenneskens is an amateur astronomer and honorary member of the Royal Netherlands Society for Meteorology and West-Brabant Astronomy. It is often found at the Oudenbosch Observatory.
“We are the ones who look at celestial bodies through the telescope. Professional astronomers don’t do that themselves anymore,” he says. telescope. They were thrilled,” he explains.
It’s also easier to convey enthusiasm these days, says Jenneskes. “For example, you can hold phone cameras in front of the telescope. Then you can use the telescope to take a picture of the moons around Jupiter. They then send them to friends and acquaintances. And so on.”
For example, the planets Venus and Jupiter shine in the Brabant sky
Solar eclipses are always special for the observatory
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