Cork Observatory to lead celebration of Apollo 11 anniversary

Cork Observatory to lead celebration of Apollo 11 anniversary
Picture: Clare Keogh

The Cork Institute of Technology Blackrock Castle Observatory will lead celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing later this month.

In a historic occasion on July 20, 1969, commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin, both American, landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on the moon at around 8pm.

To mark the occasion, the observatory team at Blackrock Castle will bring the space experience to the heart of Cork City by transforming Nano Nagle Place and St Peter’s Cork into The Moon and The Earth for two days next week. 

The observatory team is inviting the public to take part in a moon walk and travel between the two locations on a scaled-down walking tour that emulates the iconic mission.

The event promises a bumper schedule of events at each location, including special planetarium shows, workshops, and guest speakers. 

A space-themed mural by award winning Irish street artist, and 2019 European Space Agency Artist in Residence, Shane Sutton, will also be installed during the event.

Funded through Cork City Council’s City Centre Placemaking Fund to “enhance, improve and enliven people’s experience of Cork city centre” the artwork “Loves Me, Loves Me Not” will appear at Cornmarket Centre. 

RTÉ will broadcast a live commemorative show from the observatory itself on July 20. “These celebrations are an important reminder of humanity’s most daring and impressive achievement” says Niall Smith, head of CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory.

“I know that seeing this event live had a deeply profound impact on me, and here at the observatory, we’re hoping that these anniversary celebrations will serve to rekindle that inspirational spirit for a generation that wasn’t lucky enough to see this incredible moment first-hand,” he said.

In honour of the famous anniversary, the observatory will host a new exhibit from July 22, on all things Apollo.

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