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High definition Lunar Landings

For the first time in its history, the National Museum of Ireland will this weekend stage a presentation on the archaeology of another heavenly body.

As part of Moon Week at Collins Barracks, the National Museum of Ireland will display high-definition pictures showing the historic Apollo lunar landing sites for the first time in four decades. The pictures were taken this week from Moon orbit by the US spacecraft “Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter” and they are important because they will give future lunar archaeologists their first indication of how the historic sites have aged over the decades.

Matthew Parkes, the Museum’s Geological Curator, said “ Satellites now play a very important role in monitoring change here on Earth, but this is the first time we will be able to apply the technique to another world. Next week is the 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing, and we felt it was important to remind ourselves that once people left the Earth, human expansion further into the Solar System became a real possibility. The pictures will help scientists answer important questions, such as: What are the relatively long-term effects of the lunar environment on human artefacts?”

In addition to this week’s pictures from lunar orbit, the National Museum of Ireland will highlight another unusual type of space archaeology when it screens the latest digitally-enhanced television pictures of Neil Armstrong’s historic first step on the Moon.

This will be the first time in Europe that the new video has been shown to a large theatre audience and the presentation is part of "Shake, Rattle and Roll: What it really felt like to watch men leave for the Moon". Using High Definition pictures and some ear-splitting sound effects, "Shake, Rattle and Roll" recreates the launch of Apollo 11 like you have never seen, heard or felt it before. Each presentation will be introduced by broadcaster Leo Enright, who was three-miles away from the launch pad during an Apollo launch. "Shake, Rattle and Roll" will knock your socks off: an unforgettable experience at Collins Barracks!

To find out more information about any events at the National Museum of Ireland co-inciding with Moon Week, contact the Education and Outreach Department at the National Museum of Ireland by e-mail or telephone 01 6486 453.

For further press information please contact:

Elizabeth Evensen

Marketing Department, National Museum of Ireland

Tel: 01 - 648 6427

Activities related to Moon Week 2009 are part of the International Year of Astronomy in Ireland

The activities are based around the exhibition Planet Earth, Our Place In Space. This includes a piece of Moon rock gifted by the People of the United States of America in 1973. Also on exhibition is an Irish tricolour flag brought to the Moon. Apollo Mission memorabilia, meteorites from the National Museum collections and a model Saturn V rocket complete the story.

Admission and Events at the National Museums of Ireland are Free

Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm, Sunday 2.00pm – 5.00pm, Closed Monday (including Bank Holidays)

Full exhibition information


Sunday 19th July

2pm – 4pm

Moon Week: A Hundred Thousand Stars Age 6+

Come into the Discovery Den and make your own solar system! No booking needed: drop in event.

Sunday 19th July

2.30pm to 3pm and 3.30pm to 4pm

Moon Week: Shake, Rattle and Roll! Age 12+

Using High Definition pictures and some ear-splitting sound effects, broadcaster Leo Enright recreates the launch of Apollo 11 like you have never seen, heard or felt before. No Booking Needed

Wednesday 22nd July/Thursday 23rd July & Saturday 25th July

2pm – 4pm

Moon Week Inspectorium! It Came from Outer Space…All Ages

Join Geology curator Matthew Parkes in the Discovery Den to look at meteorites that are billions of years old.

No Booking Needed

Saturday 25th July

12pm – 12.30pm

Moon Week: Adult Gallery Talk Age 14+

Geology curator Matthew Parkes presents a walk & talk through Planet Earth – Our Place in Space in the Riding School.

No Booking Needed – places limited to 30

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