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Celestial summer continues as Newcastle Museum offers chance to explore Indigenous stories of the stars

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen and City of Newcastle's Director Museum Archive Libraries and Learning Julie Baird at the Australia in Space exhibition.
Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen and City of Newcastle's Director Museum Archive Libraries and Learning Julie Baird at the Australia in Space exhibition.

Newcastle Museum is preparing to transport budding astronomers to the farthest reaches of the universe this month as part of its summer of space exploration.


Using a 4K projection system and surround sound technology, Starr's Planetarium will take participants on an immersive, 360-degree journey through the solar system, with a presentation designed to unlock the secrets of Indigenous Australian astronomy.

The inflatable mobile planetarium is just one of the space-themed activities on offer at the Museum during the school holidays to complement its blockbuster summer exhibition, Australia in Space.

The Museum's series of popular free science shows kicked off today with a fun and educational exploration of the mysteries of space, while a free coding workshop on Thursday will teach participants to create a computer game inspired by the International Space Station.

The planetarium will touch down at the Museum with a number of ticketed sessions on 18 and 19 January, while Fizzics Education will allow participants to discover the science required to reach the moon in an engaging, free presentation on 23 January.

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the exhibition and activities will excite audiences of all ages, with an emphasis on school-age children.

"Developed by the Questacon National Science and Technology Centre, Australia in Space offers hands-on displays inspired by stories of Australian innovators making it safer to live and work in orbit, and using space technologies to improve life on Earth," Cr Clausen said.

"To complement the exhibition, we're offering a range of free science shows and workshops, as well as the low-cost Starr's Planetarium experience, which will deliver an insightful and inspiring insight into how Indigenous cultures describe constellations that are fundamental to their daily lives.

"I'd encourage our visitors to make a day or weekend trip to explore Australia in Space as well as Newcastle Museum's other exhibitions, activities and collections."

Tickets for Australia in Space cost $15 for adults, $10 for concession card holders, and $7.50 for children between five and 14, with children under five admitted for free. A family pass (two adults and two children) is $40.

Visitors with a disability or low-sensory needs who want to experience Australia in Space before the Museum opens to the public can also take part in one of the dedicated low-sensory sessions, with the next one being held from 9am to 10am tomorrow (10 January).

Entry to Starr's Planetarium costs $10 per person, with tickets on sale from 15 January and bookings essential.


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