Astronomy is hot: ‘Space especially fascinates young people’

Omroep Brabant

1/2 Venus, Jupiter and the Moon were clearly visible (Photo: Jost Smits).

The northern lights that can be seen in Brabant and the rest of the Netherlands. Jupiter and Venus kiss each other in the sky. According to the head of the Tivoli Observatory in Odenbosch, Hermann Vessia, astronomy or astronomy is “quite exciting”. “Especially among young people.”

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For Vissia, just like the sky last week, it was quite clear: “We already notice it in everything at the observatory. It is increasingly busy with courses and information evenings. We also see more and more parents with children coming here. Vissia says excitedly : It’s very strange to see her.

Because there is no shortage of enthusiasm about astronomy at the observatory. “It’s great to see this enthusiasm among the public as well. It’s not, of course, about an amazing increase, but we’ve seen more and more interest in recent years, especially from young people.”

“We have primary schools, but also groups with the elderly.”

Interest in other observatories has also increased in recent years, such as the Halle Observatory in Hech. “Absolutely. We’re fully booked long in advance. We’re busy with it, and indeed in all age groups. We have primary schools, but we also have groups of seniors,” says Jourian Burenck van Halle.

“Boo, reason? Well, there’s a lot of publicity about lunar excursions starting again, ”Burrink explains. There will be more large telescopes. Space fascinates people and that makes sense. That’s why we’ve always been so busy the 30 years we’ve been around. But now it’s clearly increasing.”

Why youth in particular and why now? Hermann Vecia thinks he knows “a little” why. “Stories about Jupiter and Venus and the aurora borealis definitely help. But we think the internet is mainly driving the interest.”

“Cameras are on everything these days. Beautiful pictures.”

The Internet, by which Vissia mainly refers to social media and video platforms such as YouTube and TikTok. “Cameras stick to everything these days. This results in beautiful, high-resolution images. For example, twice a week, the space transport company SpaceX launches a rocket and broadcasts the images.”

Carlo Jeneskens is an amateur astronomer and honorary member of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological and Astronomy Society of West Brabant. It can often be found at the Observatory in Oudenbosch.

“We are the people who look at the heavenly bodies through a telescope. Professional astronomers don’t do it themselves anymore.” On Wednesday the sky was completely clear. Then two groups spent hours looking through the telescope. They were overjoyed.”

Nowadays, it’s also easier to pass on enthusiasm, says Geneskis. “For example, you can hold phone cameras in front of the telescope. Then you can use the telescope to take a picture of the moons around Jupiter. Then they send it to friends and acquaintances. And so on.”

Also read:

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