Astrophysicists invite young stargazers to explore the universe from their own homes

Posted on: 08 July 2020

Some of Ireland’s leading astrophysicists are inviting young stargazers to explore the universe from their own homes as I-LOFAR, an initiative led by Trinity College Dublin, offers online Astro Camps throughout July and August.

These Astro Camps are a series of virtual summer camps about all things space and astrophysics. They are run by the AstroLands Team at I-LOFAR, a radio telescope located in Birr, Co. Offaly.

Stargazers will travel all around Ireland with virtual tours of historical and modern observatories and astrophysics research sites; get creative with hands-on activities, and chat to astrophysics researchers about their research and what it’s like to explore the universe for a career.

Dr Sophie Murray is a Research Fellow in Trinity’s School of Physics and will be contributing to the camps. She said:

“We’re delighted to be running I-LOFAR virtual Astro Camps this summer. It’s a great opportunity for young people to get a sense of the research we do here in Trinity and around the world and gives them a unique chance to hear directly from astrophysicists and researchers working in space-related areas. Running these camps online also means children and teenagers from all across the country – and indeed the world – can be involved!”

Áine Flood, I-LOFAR Education & Public Engagement Manager, and Astro Camp Coordinator, added:

“Our I-LOFAR Astro Camps are about more than learning astrophysics formulae and concepts. We aim to bring together science, art, engineering and creativity to encourage participants to explore their own ideas and innovative ways of doing things. Through hands-on interactive activities, virtual tours of astronomical locations, and chats with Irish astrophysicists, we will explore some real-world applications of the creative ways scientists and engineers have been inspired by art, culture and space.”

The camps, which will run from 10 am to 1 pm over five days, are aimed at three separate age groups: 10 to 12 (13th to 17th July); 13 to 15 (27th to 31st July); and 16 to 18 (17th to 21st August).

Group numbers are limited to ensure an immersive, interactive experience for all, so those interested are encouraged to apply now at

The cost is €50 per participant (€25 for additional members of the same family), and fees are waived for those whose parents/guardians are frontline workers or who have had their wage affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please get in touch by email in such instances.

Each participant will receive an Astro Camp pack with materials and information ahead of the camp. The camps will be run over Microsoft Teams, access to a computer and the internet is required. Once your application is received you will be contacted with further details and payment link.

These camps are made possible thanks to support from Science Foundation Ireland and ESERO Ireland. I-LOFAR is led by Professor Peter Gallagher, Head of Astrophysics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and an Adjunct Professor in Trinity’s School of Physics.

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