The Water Planet areas let you explore our fascinating world of water and how we use it.
Over 70% of Earth is covered by water and we have found many different ways to use its power. The Water Circuit explores some of these methods combining three devices to lift water - a bucket chain, village pump and Archimedes' screw - with three more that spring into action as the water flows back down - a turbine, waterwheel and tipping buckets. You can operate devices which in some cases would have been familiar to your ancestors centuries ago.
The Water Play tanks let you do just this, play with water! Build dams, explore water pressure using pipes and connectors, see the patterns a fountain makes as you turn the taps on and off and create locks and canals.
The natural power of water as it progresses from streams to rivers to oceans is explored in the Erosion exhibit. Scoop up some sand and see the patterns formed as water flows around it.
Can you lift 680Kg of solid stone? Water can! Watch how the Stone Ball floats effortlessly on a thin frictionless cushion of water. The water pressure under the ball is about one tenth the pressure of a domestic tap but this is enough to lift the ball from its socket. The ball is so symmetrical that with just a bit of a push you should be able to get the ball to move in any direction.
Please note that the fog machine, water play tanks, granite ball and erosion are decomissioned during the colder months of the winter season in order to prevent the pipes freezing and splitting.
It is with great sadness that we announce the closure of The Observatory Science Centre from 18th March 2020 until further notice.
This decision was made in the light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and recent UK government advice, which our charity has been carefully monitoring and following.
The safety and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our absolute priority during this difficult time.
Given the uncertainty we are all facing, we don’t yet know when we will re-open. If you have booked group visits / upcoming events etc. we will be in contact when we return to work.
We sincerely wish good health for you and your families during these uncertain times and we can’t wait to welcome you back as we continue our 25th anniversary celebrations.
The Observatory Science Centre team
Thank you for your cooperation, understanding and support.