"Out of this world" event at the Shed

Lead image for the news story '"Out of this world" event at the Shed'

For 25 years, Hubble has been beaming back stunning images to earth and now MMU has become the first university in the UK to get a glimpse of a very special picture.

To celebrate the telescope’s quarter century MMU and Digital Innovation was one of only six locations in the world to unveil the special picture taken by Hubble. Students from Kids in Space, a Stretford-based community project, as well as 32 Year Seven students from Manchester Communication Academy spent the day at the University learning about all things Hubble before packing into the Shed to watch the unveiling of the image which showed off celestial fireworks in a giant cluster of about 3,000 stars, called Westerlund 2.

It was just out of this world

For Dr Conway Mothobi, Special Projects and Outreach Manager at MMU and Hubble 25 communicator it was an amazing opportunity:

“It was just out of this world, I did not expect it at all, especially having worked for years doing various projects and then to suddenly become one of the people in the world to have custody of this picture, that was amazing,” he said.

Now Dr Mothobi wants to use the image for various outreach projects across the city to help bring science alive to some of the poorest communities in the area. He hopes that thanks to Hubble’s iconic status the picture can help engage people in STEM subjects.

An amazing invention

“It is an amazing invention because it excites everyone – it excites scientists, it excites the general public. The number of images that come out of there; the public and scientists just go wild for them. It has allowed us to understand the universe better. But when we say the universe we must not just look at the universe as being somewhere out there. We are on a planet and part of the universe.
.For studying the earth the images of other planets that come from Hubble have really helped”, he said.

The image will now go on a mini-tour of Manchester as well as taking pride of place in MMU’s School of Science and Engineering in the hope of exciting a new generation of scientists.

We’re keen to hear how teachers and lecturers in the North West are using Hubble25 to engage pupils and students in the joy of science. Give us your thoughts via our LinkedIn page.