Early last month, we went to the Singapore Science Centre for an evening of stargazing. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and my astronomy knowledge is very limited, so it was quite an eye opener.
The Observatory is open from 750pm to 10pm every Friday, and every second Friday of the month, there are talks at 8pm and 9pm. On the night we went, which happened to be February 14th, Valentine’s Day and the fifteenth day of Chinese New Year, we caught the 8pm session that was entitled “Singapore night sky: What can we see?“. It was very interesting for myself and Mittens, so I would say it’s great for kids 5YO and above. Abacus was less interested in the talk and actually I’m not sure whether he was really able to see anything through the telescopes, but we helped ourselves to some colouring pages and crayons so the kids could doodle while waiting for the talk to start and during the talk when they got bored. Overall, despite it being way past his bedtime, he was quite a champ and I’m glad I brought him. I’m not sure if he’d be keen to go again soon, although I’m sure Mittens wouldn’t mind!
After the talk we proceeded to the dome to the main telescope to take a look at Jupiter and its 4 largest Galilean Moons which are visible to us – the other 63 moons are not! I can’t imagine what kind of crazy confusing lunar calendars we might have, if we had a total of 67 moons instead of just ONE. Anyhow, we can often see Jupiter at this time of the year, but to the naked eye it just looks like a bright star. I was amazed that we could see the trademark streaks on Jupiter through the telescope. It made me feel so small thinking about how large the universe is.
There is also a sub telescope which was used to look at the moon. From Earth we can see Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, which are visible at different times of the year, so it’s possible to go to the Observatory 1-3 times a year to take a look, or more regularly to see the different constellations.
If you’re going with toddlers, I would suggest going straight for the telescopes first, and then going for the talk at 9pm, otherwise you will have to queue for the telescopes and you know how kids love queuing in line, right?? The kids also received special sunglasses – as in glasses that you can use for viewing the sun! We haven’t tried it out yet, although we really should.
Free Stargazing Sessions
Time: 7.45pm – 10.00pm every Friday
Venue: The Observatory (at the Omni-Theatre building)