Here is a video of our space balloon flight which was launched on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 from Frank and Mary Clarke’s farm. It reached an altitude of 28km. There are five layers to our atmosphere – Troposphere (up to 20km high), Stratosphere (20-50km), Mesosphere (50-85km), Thermosphere (85-600km), Exosphere (600-10,000km). Our balloon reached the Stratosphere.
Around 20km high ice-crystals are visible and the temperature drops to -51°C. In the Stratosphere the temperature actually increased with altitude to -40°C as ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is absorbed by the ozone layer. Had our balloon reached the top of the stratosphere the temperature would have risen to about -15°C before falling sharply again in the Mesosphere. It landed 125km away between Castlepollard and Athboy on the farm of Eamon and Margureite Kelly.
The video of the flight is 360° so view it fullscreen to pan around. Control the 360 degree fullscreen video on your phone or tablet by moving your device. To view it on a VR headset visit https://youtu.be/XPfoCtv5NSA or search for “Gortskehy in Space” using your VR YouTube app.
— Andy Tierney (@Jamesatierney) July 14, 2017
— CMS Distribution (@CMSDistribution) July 25, 2017
— Mayo.ie (@MayoDotIE) July 15, 2017
“Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Thanks to everyone who came to our star gazing party on the 14th March. Though the sky was overcast at the beginning of the evening, the cloud cover thankfully dispersed over Gortskehy NS and we all enjoyed a very informative and sociable evening. The session was very kindly led by Astronomer Derek Dempsey of Newport Astronomy Club. He brought two fabulous telescopes with him as you’ll see below in the photos. Fiona Hopkins also came along and used the light meter to measure how dark our night sky in Gortskehy is. By 9pm the meter showed a reading of 20.93 which indicates excellent conditions for star gazing with almost no light pollution.
Derek used his laser pointer to show us the planets Venus and Mars and the North Star. Then the star constellations of Cassiopeia, Leo, Orion and the Plough.
Cassiopeia is one of the most recognisable constellations in our night sky with its distinctive ‘W’ shape consisting of five bright stars. It is very easy to spot and one of the earliest constellations that young children can be shown and come to recognise.
Leo looks like its namesake. A distinctive backwards question mark forms the head and chest, then it moves to the left to form a triangle and the lion’s rear end.
Orion’s belt of three stars is one of the easiest asterisms to find in the sky at night. Orion is useful to any star gazer as one can use him to find a variety of other constellations in the sky.
The Plough is one of the most easily recognisable asterisms in the night sky consisting of the seven brightest stars of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. The Plough is well known in many cultures and goes by many names, among them the Big Dipper, the Great Wagon, Saptarishi, and the Saucepan. The asterism is particularly prominent in the northern sky in the summer, and is one of the first star patterns we learn to identify.
Thanks so much to everyone who contributed and helped out in making our star gazing a really educational and enjoyable evening. I hope it’s a seed of knowledge sowed and a memory that will stay with the children for a long time.
The All-Ireland U21 captain, Stephen Coen, visited our school with the cup last week. The trophy for the winning team is the Clarke Cup which is named in honour of former Kildare Secretary and Treasurer Tim Clarke. Mayo won the 2016 All Ireland U-21 Final by scoring five goals to defeat Cork.
Stephen Coen with the lads holding the cup.
Stephen Coen with the girls holding the cup.
Stephen Coen with the middle room and the Tim Clarke cup.
Stephen Coen with the infants and the cup.
3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class football training.
We participated in the Claremorris Credit Union Quiz. We entered two teams, an A team and a B team. On the A team were Conor Lydon, Evan Flynn, Orlaith Heaney and Amy Hession. On the B team were Ellen O’Conor, Jamie Hession, Megan Commins and Clíona Mc Greal. There were ten rounds made up of six questions for both teams but team B got two extra rounds. Team B came joint third with a score of fifty two. We had to compete in a three question tie-breaker with Gaelscoil de Búrca. We got all three correct and came third. The teams that came second and first got fifty three and fifty four points. We really enjoyed the experience and were proud of our accomplishment.
The Credit Union visits our school twice a month. We have plastic savings cards with which we can lodge money into our accounts. Ciaran Sweeney and Miriam Duffy help us with our savings accounts.
Miriam first visited to tell us about the savings card. We give her our money and then she scans our card. When she is finished the total amount of money is written on the card. We can bring our cards to our local Credit Union and we can take our money off it.
This is the computer that scans our cards.
Every year we also enter the Credit Union art competition. We enter three different age groups. It is good fun and you can meet new people at the prize giving ceremony.