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Byron Shire
May 18, 2022

Byron schoolkids receive a gift from outer space

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 18 May, 2022

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Luxe Godfrey-Assert, Abe Tasker, Georgia Sponder and Jesse Barwick touch something that is not of this world. Photo: Jeff ‘Starlet’ Dawson.

Students from Byron Bay Public School received a gift last week that was literally out of this world. The Star Stuff festival of space, science and astronomy donated an iron meteorite weighing half a kilogram that fell to Earth almost 5,000 thousand years ago in Argentina. It would have felt like an atom bomb at the time of impact and left a crater 14km wide.

Since then about 300 tonnes of the Campo Del Ceilo meteorite has been retrieved and this piece came from the collection of Geoff Notkin (USA). Geoff is a meteorite expert best known for his work on the TV series Meteorite Men and he will be speaking at Star Stuff this weekend after being invited by local organiser Dylan O’Donnell from the Byron Bay Observatory.

‘Geoff personally selected the piece after I asked for one that could be handled by several generations of children,’ Mr O’Donnell said.

‘We both wanted the school to have a piece that could be experienced – not just locked up behind glass. A literal touchstone.

‘For many kids this will be the first time they’ve been in contact with something that didn’t come from Earth.’

Star Stuff is a two-day weekend of space, science and astronomy with 11 speakers also including Fraser Cain (Canada), Amy Shira Teitel (USA), Dr Alan Duffy, Greg Quicke (aka Space Gandalf) and many more. Mr O’Donnell has been an advocate for space tourism in the region as it is low-impact and relies on the preservation of dark skies – a precious natural resource that is threatened by urban development. 

For tickets and details see Star Stuff festival.

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