Roaming telescope brings Kenyan kids views of night sky

In this photo taken Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, astronomer and company co-founder Daniel Chu Owen sets up a telescope during a visit by The Traveling Telescope to show students the science of astronomy, at St Andrew's School near Molo in Kenya's Rift Valley. Although Kenya lies on the equator and has dramatic nighttime skies in rural areas, children find it hard to name planets and other bodies as astronomy is rarely taught in schools - but that is changing as The Traveling Telescope visits some of the country's most remote areas with telescopes and virtual reality goggles. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

The Traveling Telescope project visits some of Kenya's most remote areas, showing students the night sky and the science of astronomy with telescopes and virtual reality goggles

MOLO, Kenya — Thousands of schoolchildren in Kenya are getting a rare opportunity to look at the stars.

The Traveling Telescope visits some of this East African country's most remote areas, showing students the night sky and the describing the science of astronomy with telescopes and virtual reality goggles.

One by one, the children in this Rift Valley town lined up to peer through the telescope.

Fourteen-year-old Evie Clarke gazed into the sky.

"Over there is Venus and just above it is Mars and there are loads of suns," she said, pointing. "You have such a nice picture of the moon and you can see all the craters. Oh man, it was amazing, yes!"

Students also enter an inflatable planetarium to learn more about astronomy, and they look at constellations using virtual reality goggles.

Although Kenya lies on the equator and has dramatic nighttime skies in rural areas, children find it hard to name planets and other bodies as astronomy is rarely taught in schools.

The telescope "has been around for more than 400 years and yet very few people have looked through one," said Susan Murabana, who founded the Traveling Telescope project in 2013 with Daniel Chu Owen. They charge 200 to 300 Kenyan shillings, or about $2 to $3, per child at international or private schools. They do not charge at public schools.

They would like to expand the project across Africa

"There is something really powerful about seeing things for yourself and seeing those photons coming from a star or planet or whatever is going through the telescope hitting your eye, you know," Owen said. "You are not looking at a screen, you are not looking in a book ... It stays with you."

Fifteen-year-old Tamara Lugonzo said she is considering a career in astronomy after her experience: "It's so cool, yeah!"

Peaple also read these

Archaeologists in Egypt discover mummification...

Jul 14, 2018

Archaeologists say they have discovered a mummification workshop dating back some 2,500 years at an...

Italy's FM visits Egypt, first since killing of...

Aug 5, 2018

Italy's foreign minister says he is pleased to hear from Egypt that it is committed to completing...

7 Kenyan doctors jailed for not ending strike

Feb 13, 2017

Seven Kenyan doctors who are officials of the medics union were jailed Monday for failing to call...

Kenyans accuse largest hospital of rape, abuse of...

Jan 23, 2018

Kenyans accuse country's largest hospital of rape, sexual harassment of patients

Trump administration's words, deeds on Africa are...

Mar 12, 2018

Trump administration words and deeds on Africa are colliding during U.S. Secretary of State Rex...

About Us

Delivering news from all over the globe, StarJournal keeps you abreast with the greatest minds in science, be it researchers, theorists or even popularizers.

Contact us: sales[at]starjournals.com

Subscribe Now!