At 7am on 1st April, Jodrell Bank Observatory made the exciting announcement that a signal had been received by the giant Lovell Telescope, proving beyond doubt we are not alone in the Universe…they had found a little blue planet!
Tim O’Brien, Professor of Astrophysics at Jodrell Bank, announced that although the signal was extremely weak and so very fuzzy, the astronomers had been able to enhance it using techniques they normally apply to observations of distant galaxies and produce a video of the planet’s surface. He said that, astoundingly, the pictures show this little blue planet is inhabited by what appears to be a family of mouse-like creatures.
The story and the accompanying (seriously cute) video, lovingly created by Factory animation studios, caused quite a stir. Of all the amazing coverage, including Manchester Evening News, Digital Spy, BBC North West Today, ITV Granada plus a mention from Mr Michael Ball on BBC Radio 2, one of our favourites was a piece on CBBC Newsround as it spoke directly to kids.
The partnership between Jodrell Bank and Clangers aims to engage children with space and science, and get them excited about the solar system. They have worked together to create some special activity sheets which you can take a look at over on the Clangers website- I might have a go at making a rocket myself!