Space exhibition kicks off in Dublin today

4 Jun 2013

View of the space dome. Credit: European Commission

For the next five days Trinity College Dublin (TCD) will be home to the European Space Expo, a giant dome in which people can learn all about the European space programme and engage with interactive exhibits for free.

The travelling space exhibition is set up in the front square at TCD and will be open to the public from 12pm today.

Funded by the European Commission, the exhibition has already visited 12 European cities in the past 12 months.

TCD solar physicist Prof Peter Gallagher, who has organised the Dublin Space Expo event, said that the exhibition is really about telling the general public about how the European space programme has a direct impact on our everyday lives.

“It helps us monitor deforestation in remote areas or it helps us navigate trucks around the EU member states. There are lots of different applications that impact our daily lives so it is about telling that story,” explained Gallagher.

Teenagers and young adults will be the target audience in the blackened dome, but Gallagher said that younger kids will be able to take part in art and comet-making events during the day.

In addition, he said that people will be able to learn about the space programmes that Irish scientists are involved in as well as the work that is happening at universities.

“We’re building camera for spacecraft; we’re studying explosions on the sun; we’re monitoring shark movements in the oceans – all using satellite technologies. There are so many different things that Irish scientists are doing.”

View inside the Space Expo dome

Image credit: European Commission

Each day, scientists from around Ireland will be giving short soap-box talks, which will be presented in a TED-style format.

At lunchtime every day, the Sun@One event will give people a chance to remotely control a solar telescope that is based at the Teide Observatory in Tenerife in order to take pictures of the sun.

On Friday, Dr Anna Scaife, a member of the Irish LOFAR radio telescope team, will give a public lecture on exploring the radio universe.

The space expo will finish up on Sunday, 9 June, at 6pm. To learn more, visit

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic