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Groningen Discovery Truck continues its journey of infrared inspiration

Groningen Discovery Truck continues its journey of infrared inspiration

29 May 2009

The Groningen Discovery Truck is continuing to bring the excitement of the infrared and Herschel, ESA's newest infrared space observatory, to a wide variety of audiences across Europe. In the first five months of the International Year of Astronomy around 20 000 visitors, including 13 000 school students, have passed through its doors to experience the world through infrared eyes. The main purpose of the Discovery Truck is to stimulate an interest in, and understanding of, science among secondary school students. However, to reach the widest possible audience, the Truck will also be present at special public events during 2009.

May 2009: At one of the largest European science festivals

Image courtesy of Theo Jurriens

The Gothenburg science festival is one of the largest in Europe and is the biggest popular science event in Sweden. With activities embracing all science disciplines taking place throughout the city this festival attracts around 100 000 visitors each year. The International Year of Astronomy 2009 was one of the prominent themes at this year’s festival. Through lectures, exhibitions - including the Groningen Discovery Truck - and much more, the 2009 Gothenburg Science Festival offered something for visitors of all ages. Theo Jurriens, the Discovery truck exhibitor, informed visitors about the wonders of the infrared and Herschel, ESA’s infrared space observatory, through numerous hands-on experiments and demonstrations. Festival-goers also had the opportunity to find out more about Herschel, just days before the observatory was launched, during a lecture given by Göran Pilbratt, ESA Project Scientist for Herschel.

May 2009: Europe’s newest infrared space observatory, Herschel, is launched

Image courtesy of Theo Jurriens

On 14 May 2009 at 15:12 CEST (13:12 UT) Herschel and Planck launched successfully onboard an Ariane 5 ECA from Kourou, French Guiana. To mark this event the Groningen Discovery Truck exhibited at the Space Expo in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, and received around 700 visitors during its two day visit. The Space Expo is Europe’s first permanent space exhibition and the visitors’ centre for ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. Open to the general public and schools, visitors to the Space Expo can experience a simulated launch of an Ariane rocket, experience the life of an Astronaut in a mock-up of the International Space Station, and discover the European satellites and spacecraft that explore our planet, Solar System, and beyond.

June 2009: Celebrating the Night of Art and Science in Groningen

Through the end of May and beginning of June the Groningen Discovery Truck will continue to visit schools around the Netherlands, taking time out on 13 June to appear in the “Night of Art and Science” in Groningen. During this event, organised by the University of Groningen and the Groninger Museum, the entire city will be devoted to the theme of arts and science during a night packed with all kinds of entertainment including: concerts, stand-up comedy, lectures, debates, music, dance, exhibitions, workshops and more.

September 2009: TechEvent – bringing technology to the public

Visit the Groningen Discovery Truck at the second TechEvent at Uden, the Netherlands, taking place from 19-20 September. This free two-day event will take over the centre of the city and make all aspects of technology accessible to the general public. The varied programme will offer approachable and interactive activities that are attractive to young and old alike.

An overview of the Groningen Discovery Truck can be found on the ESA International Year of Astronomy website here (insert link). Further details can be found on the dedicated Groningen Discovery truck website (in Dutch) – see link in right-hand menu – or by contacting Theo Jurriens (

Last Update: 1 September 2019
15-Jul-2024 11:47 UT

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