Lifelong Learning Festival at Blackrock Castle Observatory

Let's Explore Exoplanets!



Date: Friday April 12th

Time: 5pm – 7pm

Cost: Free!

For Cork Lifelong Learning Festival 2024, we’re going to be exploring exoplanets – strange alien worlds beyond our solar system! Learn how we detect these planets without being able to see them, and the genius methods scientists can use to learn more about these planets’ atmospheres, size, orbits, and more!

Hear from BCO astronomer Alan Giltinan on how the observatory can detect exoplanets, and some of the cutting edge research being performed by other institutions.

We’ll also have a chance to take in the Moon using some of the astronomy teams’ telescopes, weather permitting. **Cancelled due to inclement weather.**

Finally, we have a very special exoplanet themed workshop. We have 12 spaces available for visitors to be the first to play-test MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory’s “Terrestrial” Board Game! Compete against other players to become the first player to find an Earth-like exoplanet before you’re stranded in Space.
The game is a co-creation initiative, so your feedback will help shape the final version of the game! The board game is very easy to play, but we will also have expert facilitators on hand to guide you through the play-test. Please note, the recommended age for players is 12+.

This event is completely free. Participants simply need to answer survey questions before and after the game.

Pre-booking for the workshop is essential, and places will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.


5pm -6.30pmFree Access to MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory exhibit
5.30pm – 6.30pmExoplanet workshop (Capacity 12 people)
6.30pm – 7pmFree talk on Exoplanet detection and research (Capacity 30 people)

7pm – 7.30pmSee the Moon with BCO telescopes (Weather permitting) **Cancelled due to inclement weather**


Book your Workshop Space Here:


You do not require a booking to participate in the remaining activities, however the Exoplanet talk will be offered on a first come first served basis until the venue reaches capacity.




About Terrestrial

Terrestrial is a Game Based Learning project, funded by Science Foundation Ireland,  that will teach the public about exoplanets and space exploration using a tabletop game. The project was created by MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory as a response to the Creating Our Future initiative, wherein the Irish public expressed an interest in learning more about exoplanets and space exploration.

The game will see players acting as astronauts stranded in a new solar system. They must race to find and inhabit an Earth-like exoplanet in the system before their oxygen supply runs out. Players will need to use every scientific tool at their disposal to establish whether a planet has breathable air, water, a protective magnetosphere and more! The first player to land on a habitable planet wins the game.

The game will see players completing puzzles based on real scientific analyses such as spectroscopy, photometry, and hydrology while also exposing players to information about real world space missions that use these very techniques.