Concord, NH - 10/18/2012

Published at 11:18 PM in ,

Today we visited the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center located in Concord, NH.  This is a nice space center with a planetarium and an observatory.  There is an F-8 fighter jet in the middle of the lobby and a 92' Mercury-Redstone Rocket out front.

The shuttle tire

There were displays on weather personalities in the area and information about their jobs.  Upstairs had a center about a journey to Mars with several hands on activities for the kids to find out if they were cut out for a trip to Mars.  There was also an actual tire from the Shuttle Columbia.  It was massive and very heavy! 

Rachael and her machine

There was also another section where the kids could practice landing the shuttle and build moon rovers.  The girls had a great time with their moon rovers.  There were little motors that would make them move.  Rachael built a big contraption that turned.

In the observatory

We also saw a planetarium show about the night sky and what you see at this time of year.  By far the best part of the visit, though, was the observatory.  They open it in the afternoons and two Friday nights a year.  Today, with the special lenses on the telescope, we were able to look at the sun and see a sun spot.  It looked like a black dot on the sun, which itself isn't a lot to look at necessarily, but the fact that you could look at the sun itself and not blind yourself was awesome.  There was also another telescope that allowed you to look at the sun and with this one you could see solar flares.  It was truly amazing to view so accurately something so far away.

We enjoyed our visit and then got on the road to Maine!

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