Event Report: Wirral Star Party, 1st March 2014 by Hayley Parr

On Saturday the 1st March I attended the Wirral Star Party with Liverpool Astronomical society. Not coming from Liverpool myself and being a St. Helens girl, I thought I would avoid the pesky £1.60 charge on the Mersey tunnel and drive around it all instead. This journey took me 3 hours, caused me to go petrifyingly low on fuel and my blood pressure to sky rocket for the fear of being stranded literally in the middle of nowhere.

However after this crisis was averted by a friendly man from a pub who got me to a Sainsbury’s for petrol, I was there.

At first the skies didn’t look as though they would like to play ball. I was starting to think of myself as the event curse, as all of mine thus far had been cloud soup. However all of a sudden, as if by magic *millions and MILLIONS AND MILLIONS… (Yes I’m doing Brian Cox) of stars appeared. *Not millions but a lot. The party had begun. You could see astronomers making darts to their cars for telescopes and within the blink of an eye a forest of them appeared.

Shouts of “Who wants to look at Jupiter… Orion Nebula… clusters…” rang out as though it was a London market. As well as approximately every 12 seconds a member of the public shouting “WWWWOOOOWWWW!!!”

I think the highlight of this event for me was just how engaged the children were. I heard a girl of around 8 while standing on a ladder say “Is that Io? The volcano moon?” I obviously asked if I could adopt her but her mother wasn’t keen ;)

All in all a fun and interesting event.

I took the Mersey Tunnel home.