Thousands go to infinity and beyond with Kielder Observatory planetarium at Thornhill Academy

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Thousands have watched our coverage as we went live to a Sunderland school to see one of its lessons go stratospheric.

All this week Thornhill Academy is playing host to an inflatable planetarium, which allows pupils to travel to all corners of the galaxy.

The Planetarium at Thornhill Academy, Sunderland, with the help of The Kielder Observatory

The Planetarium at Thornhill Academy, Sunderland, with the help of The Kielder Observatory

We went live on our Facebook page to show people inside the dome, which was watched by people around the country.

The school has teamed up with Kielder Observatory for the event, which coincides with British Science Week, and also features workshops with infra-red technology and the chance for children to get up close to meteorites from Mars.

Reader Ang Johnston said: “Brilliant to see this! Such an amazing opportunity for the children!”

Glenn Thompson commented on our live feed: “It’s amazing today’s technology. When I was at school we had nothing like this.”

Gary Fildes, the Sunderland-born director of the Observatory, was also at the school.

He said: “This is something we’re doing more and more now. Astronomy is such an awe-inspiring subject and, with the help of schools, we want to take that innate sense of amazement that schoolchildren have for the subject and underpin that with the staff and resources we have to really turn Sunderland into a science city.”

As well as Thornhill Academy pupils, primary school pupils from Richard Avenue, Diamond Hall, Hudson Road, Broadway Juniors and Barnes, are taking part in the immersive experience at the school this week, as well as invited members of the surrounding community.